How do you relate to time? Do you just see the future ahead of you, cluttered with actions and goals which threaten to suffocate you? Are you in the present moment, having fun but not getting much done? Are you stuck in the past with no idea how to develop the insight, motivation or courage to move forward? Or are you able to see time as a continuum with the past, present and future laid out in front of you?
If it is the latter, it means you are more able to learn from life experiences, get things done in the present and plan for the future.
“Not all hours and minutes are the same length” as Roger Black says. It can speed by when you are enjoying yourself, or slow down when you’re not. While we all have the same 1440 minutes every day but how is it that some people get more done than others?
It is all down to your relationship with time, how clear you are about your priorities and how everything fits in together. It is important to prioritise those things which move you towards your goals in an economical manner. This combines both effectiveness and efficiency so that your productivity improves.
A productive person is calm, focused, disciplined, flexible, balanced, has perspective and, generally, does what they say they will do. This increases your reputation with yourself and so your self-esteem enjoys a good boost too.
There are four main time enablers:
- Perspective: Purpose, goals, priorities and values
- Self: Self insight, self-motivation and self-management
- Others: Understanding and managing others
- Balance: A balance between downtime and uptime
When you have a clear perspective, with an ability to understand and manage yourself (and those others on whom you depend to get things done – or to whom you should be delegating) and balance this with self-care, you are in a much better position to improve your time management. You will also feel more resourceful, your productivity enemies slain.
Here are my top tips:
- Focus on just two important items each day – this frees up your mind-clutter and gives you a sense of achievement
- Fill in the spaces with smaller jobs
- Have a power-hour once a week where you do all those little things you don’t have time for but which make you feel really good when they are done.
- Whatever you are doing, apply your 100% attention to as you can only do one thing at once, contrary to popular belief. In addition, the stop start involved in not doing this can increase the time needed for each task by as much as 5 times!
- Limit distractions – be ruthless but respectful about it
- Delegate well
- Manage your information overload – be super-ruthless on this one
- Procrastinate discriminately – some things should be procrastinated but a lot of people procrastinate the important in favour of the trivial
- Make your to do list a reality list and keep your fantasy (wish) list separate. Work your list with passion and fervour
- Keep your workspace free from clutter to give yourself mindspace to think clearly and get things done
Getting things done should be a joy, not a chore, giving you a sense of empowerment, achievement and progress. By following these simple steps (which I cover in detail as part of my Achieving More in Less Time workshop), you will find that your productivity soars.
If you could use some help overcoming your time-management demons, why not book a session? Call me on 0845 130 0854.
© Tricia Woolfrey 2013
About Tricia Woolfrey - click HERE to find out about the author.