Time Management Activities

Here I provide you with 3 time management activities to boost your productivity and reduce your stress. If you think about it, the super successful have the same time as everybody else yet they get more done with less stress.

The super productive and successful

  • know where their time goes, and
  • ensure that their few vital activities are not at the mercy of the trivial many.

These three time management activities:

  1. track your time and identify timewasters
  2. ensure that you make time for those things that matter most rather than trying to find time at the last minute
  3. give you the tools to plan your work and work your plan.

Time management activities #1: Know where you spend your time

When you want to save for something, what do you normally do?

If you are like me, you probably draw up a budget of the things that you spend your money on and identify where you can trim that expenditure to save for the thing that you want.

Well the same principle applies to time.

A first step to better time management involves collecting objective data on how you spend your time now.

To do this, download your time management log and for the next 5 days keep track on your time.

Now time management logs have got a bad rap lately, but this is because people collect the data from a time management log and believe that that is the end of it.

However, the collection of the data is only the starting point.

Note down the time you start your activities, what you are doing, and the time that you finish.

The 5 minutes that you put into this each day for a week will pay off big dividends in your future time use and allows you to set time management goals.

By collecting this data you can ask a number of questions:

Are you stressed and frazzled and know that something needs to change? You don't have time to play 'hit and miss' with your time management. Take the time management survey and take control today.

Are you Proactive or Reactive?

Examine your time usage through the lens of the time management matrix.

Do you focus your time on those activities that matter most?

What are your major timewasters....ineffective meetings, interruptions, procrastination?

Time management activities #2: How much time do you spend on your top priorities?

It is easy to say 'yes' to everything but it is a surefire way to mediocre productivity and high stress.

Why?

Because you end up completing other people's priorities rather than focusing on your own.

Don't let the vital few activities be at the mercy of the trivial many. Your vital few activities are those that generate your biggest returns for your investment of time.

If you don't know what these activities are then read up on the pareto principle and conduct these time management exercises.

How much time do you spend on your high impact activities?

Examine the time log that you kept in activity 1.

Put a star next to your top priority items - those tasks which were most important to you. Perhaps it was spending time with your family, working on that proposal, or the quite time you spent by yourself.

Extreme productivity is about putting first things first. This time management article highlights the importance of protecting your big rocks in your weekly planner
.

Once you have put a star next to your highest priority items, add up how much time you spend per day on these most important activities.

For the next week, try to spend more time focusing on the activities that have most value for you.

By focusing more on the activities that are important to you and less on the low priority tasks, this time management activity helps you to weave a life that aligns with your priorities.

Time management activities #3: Plan your work and work your plan

If you do daily planning with a to-do list then you are toast.

Why?

You are likely to be pulled into reactivity and not complete those things that matter most.

Weekly planning is the natural short-term planning tool for business.

List all the activities that you have to do over the next week. This is almost like a weekly to-do list.

Now put an A, B or C next to them. With the A’s being your most important activities and C's being your least important activities.

Looking at all of your top priority items, now put them into a weekly calendar and schedule a time for them.

Whether you use:

.....the important thing is to plan at a weekly level.

Often we can underestimate the time it is going to take to do a task. Look at the things that you have done (in activity 1) if you need help in determining how long different tasks took you.

Block these most important times out in your diary – this doesn’t mean you can’t change them – but at least you have a plan and a direction for the next week – which can always be adjusted.

Are you an owl or a fowl? Be aware of your circadian rhythm.

Try to identify periods of time in which you are likely to be full of energy for your high priority items – there is no use in being half asleep on your most important job.

For me, I am a morning person, so I try to schedule my most important activities in the morning – before 11am.

If you liked these time management activities then you will also like these time management techniques.

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