Time Management can be a tricky skill for all of us to master as we balance the want to get things done whilst tackling procrastination & lack of motivation.
During my time as a Life Assistant, there are various tools I have utilised to help our team and our clients improve their time management and productivity.
Online Calendars, they’re not just for meetings
I understand that some people still utilise a hard copy diary or calendar, but my personal preference is an online calendar. One that I can use on my phone and laptop to ensure that I am across my schedule and can access at any time of the day, in any location.
My online calendar consists of tasks for work, meetings and other personal items.
I personally use Google Calendar as it enables me to have sub-calendars for other important things and people in my life that I want to be across. In my case, being a business owner and mother, I have access to my teams’ calendar so I can see how their day is tracking, a calendar for each of my children to track their school and extracurricular actives and other sub-calendars for bills and meals so we can run our busy household as smoothly as possible.
Time Blocking, the building blocks of your day
Within my online calendar, I try to schedule blocks of time to focus on specific tasks. If I have a project I am working on I will block out an hour or two to focus on that and that only. That way I don’t double book myself with meetings or other items and try to stick to the task at hand.
If the task is something I’m finding difficult, or something I’m likely to procrastinate on I will set a shorted time block, maybe 30 minutes, and chip away at the task in bite-sized chunks.
Procrastination, the furry and the slimy gremlins
Procrastination is an interesting distractor as it can come up at times of frustration; when you don’t want to or don’t know how to do a task. The way we procrastinate is also interesting, as something that could be seen as procrastination can also be a real positive. Going for a walk around the block is great for your fitness and mental health, but doing so when you have a deadline on a paper is not the best use of your time.
I’ve always found that naming and shaming my procrastination gremlins helps me get them under control and allowing myself time to procrastinate in the day, letting my mind or body wander is the best way of finding a balance.
When you find yourself in a procrastination rut it could be good to use a circuit breaker. Something you can do that can break you out of a pattern and snap you back to the start. It could be simple, like having a cold glass of water, washing your face, doing a breathing exercise or doing some active but short movement like doing 20-star jumps. Then stepping away from the procrastination distractor and moving towards the task you are meant to be working on.
Thinking ahead, it’s all about the plan
Spending time before bed to think about and plan the day ahead can be a great way to improve your time management. It helps you set an intention of what you want to achieve and prioritise the tasks ahead, whilst bringing focus to the ones you may not have finished earlier that day.
I like writing a plan of things I can action prior to opening my emails or social media, this helps me use a productive part of my morning before being distracted by new challenges.
Tackling your time management skills is the fastest way to finding more time in your day. Start by slowly adding one or two of these tips into your daily routine and working your way to a time management master. After all, we all want to find more time to do the things we love.
Article by Founder of Organise.Curate.Design, Caroline Brunne