Monday, 17 August 2009

Crash course on Time Management

Want to make more efficient use of your precious time? Follow these steps to make it happen.

1. Pass the task on - many of us seem to think that it's brave to struggle solo but you don't have to be a super hero. Consider delegating tasks and who could help you: maybe another mum could pick up the kids from school once a week; try to delegate some paperwork to a colleague. Even passing on one small task could make a big difference!

2. Get organised - and plan. Make sure you have an aim in mind for meetings, have a clear desk and clear home and don't let tasks creep up on you. Be disciplined about use of technology - turn your phone off and only check it at intervals. Set times during the day to check email and stick to them. Phone messages and emails can be major and unnecessary distractions. Don't forget to schedule in time for yourself and your family alongside all your other plans. Unless you're organised in those areas too, it won't happen.

3. Learn to say no - if you keep saying yes to keep people happy, eventually you are going to let them down. Manage their expectations and only take on board the work that you feel you can realistically complete. Be firm, keep eye contact, take a breath to collect your thoughts and say no immediately before you say anything. You can always change your mind afterwards if you want, but you'll find it harder to back out of something if you've already said yes!

4. Simplify life - by juggling too many balls, our brain consistently thinks about each and every one of them. So simplify your life and throw out everything you don't use. Be honest with yourself. Cut down on your memberships of societies and clubs, keeping just your absolute favourites. Use the library so you aren't collecting books that clutter up your home and shop in a limited number of shops and for brands you trust. By cutting out the choice and keeping things simple you won't have as many things to think about and you can focus your mind on the important tasks and get more done.

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