Effective time management is about working smarter in the right direction - the direction of your highest priorities. For the last 10 years I have worked as a time management coach and I often have people say to me:
"Kell, I am working hard but at the end of the day I haven't accomplished what I set out to do".
The modern world of work often means that we are juggling 10 different things and that your attention is grabbed by
This can mean that the vital few are at the mercy of the trivial many!
Effective time management is about ensuring that you get the highest return for your time.
There are three steps to effective time management:
Sounds simple doesn't it!
These 3 steps sound simple but they are not necessarily easy!
You don't want to spend your day, your week, or your life, climbing the ladder only to get to the top and realize that it is leaning against the wrong building.
In other words you want to ensure you are heading in the right direction before you put your head down.
As Stephen Covey in his bestseller 'The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People' reflects in habit #2 that to this we need to "Begin with the end in mind.”
In the practical world of work this is best captured at the personal level by 'think annually' followed by 'quarterly check-ins'.
I want you to think of your life and what you want to achieve in your work and personally over the next year.
Maybe you have an important project that you need to complete, perhaps you want to be in better shape, or have a better relationship.
By developing an annual plan of the things that you want to achieve you are making a declaration of your intentions for the next 12 months.
The clearer your intention the better the result!
List all the things that you want and then identify what is most important to you using the Pareto principle to fine tune your list into the top 5 goals at the annual level.
Once you have a clear idea on those things that truly matter to you, your family, or your job; use this 1:1:5 template to plan at the annual level
Just as a business checks-in on a quarterly basis, so should you!
But rather than doing a quarterly business review, check-in on how you are progressing towards your goals.
21st century time management is less about getting everything done and more about protecting your time for those things that matter most.
Ask yourself the following questions:
The annual planning and the quarterly check-in becomes your compass to ensure that you are heading in the right direction.
When I work with clients many of them know what is important to their job and this is mapped out in their KPI’s.
But what is important is often very different to what they are working on!
The work at the ‘coal-face’ is often very different to what is important to the individual, team, or company.
Because, unfortunately, today "normal" means stressed out, rushed, and constantly jumping from crises to crises.
Planning and then scheduling your activities each week ensures that you make time in advance for your key activities rather than trying to find the time later. You can construct your weekly plan using:
Personally, I use and like Achieve Planner because:
Whatever your time management system, you have gone along way to improving your effective time management if:
These 3 simple steps align what is important to you, your family, or your work.
Changing your effective time
management habits can be hard! If you want a caffeine hit of
motivation, these inspirational time
management quotes reinforce positive time management habits
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