Time: it’s money, we kill it, and we can’t make up for it when it’s lost. We have a lot of canned sayings to try to communicate a phenomenon that’s almost impossible to fully understand. Time flies. And most of us wish we had more of it. The good news is that time management is controlled more by our heads than our watches.
Today I want to offer a few time management tips geared toward keeping your mind sharp and ready to solve problems. Everyone works differently, so there is no time management solution that will work perfectly for everyone. You should have your own program, but these tips should be helpful for staying in the moment and harnessing your strengths.
Despite the fact that there are only 24 hours in a day, our minds have a lot to say about how much we can get done in that period of time. There are only three ways to spend time: thoughts, conversations, and actions. Have an intimate knowledge of your energy levels as you go throughout a typical day so you know when the best time for each task is. Make a plan for what thoughts, conversations, and actions best fit into which blocks of time.
Eat the Big Frog First
A famous mantra that I still subscribe to. First of all, it sends the right message to your team and yourself. You know that accomplishing the task that is going to require the most brain power first just makes sense, but by using your actions you show that procrastination is not an option. It sets a precedent for proactive behavior and sets you up for success throughout the rest of your day.
Don’t Waste Wasted Time
Humans are not mechanized machines and our energy levels ebb and flow, until every night we go to sleep to recharge. Take advantage of the small chunks of downtime you may have by accomplishing smaller, less involved tasks. Address your calendar, email, or simply sit and think. It’s important to make a few quiet moments for yourself throughout the day or you may start to feel consumed by your tasks rather than immersed in them.
Have a Do Not Disturb Sign and Know How to Use It
As a leader you are often needed to answer questions, take calls and attend meetings. Your inbox might have the ability to suck two thirds of your day down the drain if you let it. You need a simple way to tell your employees or coworkers, “I am not available right now.” While this will be extremely beneficial for you in terms of purely getting things done, it will also be helpful organizationally. Having a protocol that’s easily understood makes organizations flow smoothly.
Make Time for Renewal
Your system isn’t working if you aren’t properly recharged and ready to go the next day. Make sure you have time in your schedule for some personal renewal. This is the activity you do that gets your blood flowing and your mind racing at the same time. Whether it’s an athletic or a spiritual practice, try to make a little time each day for these kinds of activities.
I hope this blog finds you well and with 2015 started off firmly on the right foot! Questions or comments? Feel free to contact me through the form at the bottom of the site or on Twitter @DoubledareCoach.