We can’t manage time, but we can manage how we prioritise our day and which tasks we focus on.
Analyse where does your time go over an average day/week:
What activities take lot of your time?
What do you wish you could give away?
How much of your day, in your opinion is wasted?
When considering which tasks you will focus on, here is a good question to ask yourself “Is this the best use of my time, right now?”
Procrastination is a self-managed habit which often creates time management challenges by turning neglected tasks into high urgency situations. This puts us under pressure and often leads to poor quality of work, missed deadlines, high stress levels and team tension.
I have written these 6 steps on ‘How to Beat the Procrastination Habit’;
1. Analyse the reason why you’re postponing a task.
Behavioural psychologists say the underlying cause for procrastination is fear or boredom. Fear of doing it wrong or fear of how the person may react. The task may be boring or monotonous but it’s still part of your role. Ask yourself, “Why am I mucking around here when I know this task needs to be done?” Then take action!
2. Commit yourself to a start time for each task - practise ‘front-end loading’.
Don’t think about the deadline/due date. Instead diary in when you will start on the task and then do it!
3. Prioritise your tasks and then discipline yourself to stick to the priorities.
If you don’t prioritise your tasks human-nature will kick in, you will be distracted and go for the easy tasks you enjoy rather than the important one you’re avoiding.
4. Eliminate the distractions around you.
Clear the desk and the surrounding workspace of things which will distract you or you can use as an excuse to shift focus when the task is boring or challenging.
5. Break “elephant” projects into bite size pieces.
Get started! Even half an hour a day will have you making inroads into that large project.
6. Enlist the help of a colleague or team member to make you accountable.
Tell others what you’re working on and commit to deadlines they can monitor. Try it, it works!
For more comprehensive strategies for dealing with time management challenges, we have an excellent one day course ‘Time Management for Managers’