Time is a finite resource that we all wish we could top up every now and then!
Juggling multiple, and sometimes competing, professional and personal commitments makes effective time management seem almost impossible. However, it is really important to take control and manage your time so that you live your life with intention.
We have created an easy 5-step approach to help improve your time management.
5 Steps to Improve Your Time Management
1. Set your goals both personal and professional
Think about the goals that are important to you, and commit to these by creating a goal sheet. Writing down your goals will also make it easier to decide how you want to spend your time achieving them.
2. Create a generic weekly schedule
Using your goals from Step 1, review your weekly schedule and allocate blocks of time for tasks. It is helpful to color code recurring activities such as team meetings, leaving some white space for unallocated time.
Each week, set aside time to decide if you can fulfill your pre-planned activities and allocate goals to the white space.
Creating a weekly schedule will make it easier to focus on what you are meant to do at a given time so that you can enjoy the task.
3. Take time out every week to plan the week
Now that you have created your goals and a generic work schedule, use the pre-allocated planning time to develop a specific schedule for the upcoming week. This is a great way to avoid feeling overwhelmed by too many projects. You can tackle the week knowing that each task has an allocated time that will allow you to deliver high-quality work.
Remember – be realistic with your time and adapt to any changes that come up.
4. Work your week as you planned
Use the specific weekly schedule to complete each task at the right time.
Distraction can and will occur. Take a look at our process, The 3Ds (Decide – Delegate – Defer), for managing distractions and unexpected interruption.
5. Take time out to do a periodic review
Every now and then, spend some time reviewing your personal and professional goals. Be honest and identify any changes needed to meet these goals. Enjoy this step – it is a great opportunity to restart!
Our 5-step approach to time management will help you to have personal and professional goals to live the life that you want. Why not start practicing some of our advice today and gradually evolve your own approach?
Editor’s Note: This article is an excerpt from our free book, Collaborative Project Management: A Handbook.