A few weeks ago, I was talking about types of the procrastinator and how to overcome procrastination. If you go to the blog, you can check which type of procrastinator are you and some tips to overcome procrastination.
Today, I want to keep sharing time management techniques with you to gain some skills, manage your time better, and be more productive.
When you look to increase productivity in your life in general or in your workplace, we are talking about skills, some skills that we have are innate to us, and others you need to work on to improve it.
If you feel that you tend to procrastinate or postpone many things, your time management skills may not be so good. To help you identify those top time management skills here, you have my top three:
- Prioritizing: Assessing your priorities is vital in being a good time manager. You can do it differently by completing fast, simple items, starting with the time sensitives ones first. That will depend on yourself. And the type of tasks you have daily.
- Planning: Fundamental skill is planning. Being efficient in your planning, tasks, meetings, calls, and how you will accomplish it daily will be essential.
- Organization: Having your plan for the day, and track every few hours if you are on track. Keeping an up to date calendar, locating certain documents quickly, taking detailed notes will be a massive help in your time management. So you can be much more productive and lose less time.
Now, you have my top three skills for better time management. You can start to question yourself if you have those skills, being honest. As I said above, those skills are innate for some people and are easy for them. For others, they need to work on them.
I will recommend rating yourself on those three skills honestly. Then, make a list of what do you daily to prioritize. Do you plan? What do you do to organize?
Once you have that, I will share the four Ds of Time Management to improve the skills above.
4D’s of Time Management:
Do: Work on tasks that only take a few minutes to complete—quickly accomplishing a series of smaller tasks builds momentum for working on larger projects. Examples: Answering emails, returning phone calls, printing reports.
Delay: Temporarily pause task that does not need to be handled right away, and schedule when you have the availability. Examples: New project ideas, new requests from colleagues or superiors…
Delegate: Reassign an essential task to someone else. (Weight task that benefits from your specific expertise vs those tasks that deliver the same outcome regardless of who is doing it.
Drop: Remove unnecessary tasks from your schedule and move on. Example: Unproductive meetings, unnecessary emails.
Now you can start to make a strategy, with what you need to change of the list that you have done before, applying the 4 Ds.
When I was working in a big corporation, with a lot of responsibilities, I learn to maximize my time, and on top of the strategies shared above, I was using the list below as well:
- Use “Waiting time effectively”: In my old times as a price negotiator, I had many visits to the London hotels, so I use the waiting time between meetings, my tube journey, or even my lunchtime to get rid of small tasks. I always had a list of them in my notes and do them on these “dead” times, where you cannot do much.
- Turn tasks into Habits: I’m sure that you do some tasks daily or weekly in your job. Or delegate some tasks to my team. Going back to my corporate job, looking at the stats every morning was a task, but a habit was the first I did every morning login on my laptop. That was another daily thing that I did first thing in the morning.
- 30 min of planning and visualizing starting your day: I always do my planning weekly. Every Sunday, I plan my week. But every morning before starting to work, I took 30 min, to check all I have a plan for the day if anything needs to be adjusted if it “feels right”. Yes, I guide myself a lot for my intuition, and sometimes what it feels right Sunday, on Wednesday, it doesn’t. So I re-adjust. And I visualize my day, all I need to do, help me focus, and start positively.
- Batch similar tasks: Another trick I am still using is group, similar tasks—for example, one hour for all the calls, 30 to follow up with clients, two hours to prepare reports, etc.
- “Eat frogs”: Everyone has tasks that they do not like. And we keep postponing for tomorrow. We will repeat tomorrow delaying it. And this becomes a habit, and the tasks we dislike, or like less, always keep piling in someplace, creating overload. The tip is to do them first and get rid of them fast to get them out of the way.
If you feel that you need help with your time management skills, it is time to move. If you think you want to improve, but you are lost on overcoming procrastination habits, then look for help because I’m sorry to break it to you. It won’t change by itself. So let’s have a free vibe call.