High performers in Australia and worldwide, constantly struggle with the issue of time management both inside and outside of work. It seems, the more you are good at something, the more people believe you have the talent, which presents you with more opportunities, making it harder to organise your time.
To manage your time, you must first understand the following concept: You can’t “manage time,” you can only manage yourself and how you use time to your advantage. Here are a few hacks to help you prioritise tasks, maximise your efficiency and increase your productivity.
1. Start saying ‘No!’
“Just Say No” Time Management is centred around prioritisation. The tasks with the largest potential impact on your goals need to be done first, and as new opportunities arise, they need to be properly prioritised so that you are not detracting from your core goals. Every time a new opportunity presents itself, consider the effect this may have on all major aspects in your life, yourself, your family, and your goals. Ask yourself one important question before saying yes: Will this opportunity keep me on the path to achieving my work goals, dreams and family aspirations? If the answer is no, then politely decline the opportunity.
2. Generate ‘Aha!’ moments in the shower
We have all been there, lathering your hair when BAM! An ‘aha’ moment suddenly hits us. Research[i] shows you are more likely to have a creative epiphany when you’re doing something monotonous like showering so use this time to review your goals, predict your challenges and plan the steps you’ll take to tackle them efficiently and effectively. This way, you are one step ahead in your day before your workday has even begun.
3. Use a calendar app
Keeping all your appointments in your head is ineffective. Missed appointments will inevitably occur as throughout a lifetime; scientists estimate that the modern human brain will hold up to 1 quadrillion pieces of information. To give up a better idea, a quadrillion is 1,000,000,000,000,000![ii] You also have 70,000 thoughts in a single day. on average; a few thoughts will inevitably slip through the net when there is this much to remember. That is why the most successful people use calendar tools.
Use the Calendar app on your phone or desktop to help you become more productive. There is also Google Calendar that can be used to receive reminders and remain organised. These calendar tools help you stay productive in the way you schedule meetings as they create a visual plan as to how you have booked your time.
4. Take a break
The “The Pomodoro Technique,” created by Francesco Cirillo, is an extremely specific time management technique, which may sound hard to follow initially but can become second nature when done correctly. This Is how it works:
25 minutes work + 3-5-minute break x 4
After you’ve worked 4 x 25 minute periods take a 15-30 minute break. Then begin again, 25 minutes of work + a 3-5-minute break, with a longer break every four periods. You do this until you have completed your task or work for the day.
This method may sound more like an exercise routine than a time management hack; however, just as resting is important when conducting physical activity. Similarly, you are more productive when taking little breaks from work; this is because, throughout our day, we reach points when our productivity plateaus. It is important to use these moments to relax to recharge.
5. Don’t get discouraged
This final hack is one of the most important. Interruptions are bound to happen. Don’t let talking to your friend on an impromptu call or a drop in from a supplier who’s offered to take you out for lunch, make you feel like you’ve ruined your productivity for the day. Don’t be too harsh on yourself; you’ve only been derailed temporarily; now it’s time to get back on track. After all, the time you spend dwelling on the past, could be time spent focusing on completing future tasks.
We hope these five-time management tips will help you to organise your day. Remember to also make a note of the positives that happen during your day, for instance, how did you get to something on your to-do list ahead of schedule? Ending your day on a note will encourage you to do the same the next day.
If despite your best efforts at time management, you are still struggling to keep up with all the tasks on your to-do list. Give one of our Australian Virtual Assistant team members a call on 02 9053 9020 to discuss how we can get you organised and grow your business.
All of our Australian Virtual Assistant team members are here to listen to your needs, tailor our assistance so your business can flourish.
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