A key factor of success is to have a time management schedule that reflects your priorities. This is often easier said than done as you juggle 10 tasks and respond to seemingly urgent requests.
Many of the people I work with tell me that they can't schedule their time...their work is too responsive to locking in time to do things. Whether we like it or not, we all run to a schedule. But there is a big difference in the schedule of a top performer to an average performer.
The average performer lets others dictate their schedule and fit in their most important tasks (MITs) when they can find time. A top performer protects their time for their MITs and lets the less important tasks fit in around their MITs.
Are you clear on your direction? Are you are clear about what matters most? If so then make sure you protect your time for those things that matter most in advance.
Because it is important to make time for them rather than try to find time when you can for what matters most. Examine your work and lifestyle, are you happy with the mix of activities that you do? These time management exercises enable you to clarify your priorities in more detail.
To ensure that you get the most effective schedule for you, you need to align your priorities with the way that you are spending your time.
In your life the big rocks are those activities that drive your
performance at work, they are the quality time that you spend with your
family and friends, they are your hobbies and your health.
To ensure that the sand and pebbles don't crowd out these important activities you need to put them into your schedule and protect them. What activities of your life are non-negotiable and what activities don't really matter?
Do you know how you are spending your time on these most important activities? If not then conduct the time management log activity.
Use this weekly planner and make your most important activities a must!
One of the biggest traps that you can make is to overburden your schedule with commitments. The
white space in your schedule is there for a reason. It is tempting to
fill this white space with projects, but you need to give yourself free
space to deal with the fact that life can throw things up that are
Similarly, having more fat in the schedule gives you the freedom to be flexible with task durations and other commitments.
Look at the time management matrix. Try to schedule as many proactive tasks as you can and limit the ones that are reactive.
The proactive ones won't go away, and because they are important if you don't do them they will end up in 'the crisis quadrant'.
Please remember give yourself space in your schedule to deal with these unexpected crises.