Time Management – Best Practice

Organiz© Time Management Best Practice

Time Management is solely & purely about habits and about communication

Managing your time is = being effective

OVERVIEW

Time Management applies to every single moment of your day, at work and at home. In business and in leisure. Whether you are a stay at home mom, or the CEO of a large corporate organization. It is all in the PLANNING.

The problem is we plan to do too much. We set ourselves up for failure before we even start. Or even worse, we don’t plan. Or plan badly.

How do you manage your time currently? Think about your day, your week, your month. And then consider the Pareto Principle. Is 80% of your time being spent on delivering 20% of the results you need?

Then it is time to take action and make drastic changes.

Your week should have small (which is your daily TO DO list), medium (which is the urgent things, normally somebody else’s urgency) and large (these should be your PRIORITY, these activities are the real deliverables that will deliver returns) activities to plan around each week. And then of course there are the everyday activities that will take up time.

Plan to do 3, maybe 4 large activities, around 10 urgent activities (most of the urgent activities will be dumped on you by someone who has not planned) and any number of small activities per week.


URGENT vs. IMPORTANT

We need to learn to deal with IMPORTANT tasks before they become URGENT.

Review your tasks:

  1. DUMP IT NOW – I am sure there are many actions that have been around forever and if you were to dump them. Another reason to consider dumping activities is when they do not tie back to your mission statement.
  2. DELEGATE IT – most of us are loath to delegate, or maybe we don’t know how to delegate. If you have a task you feel only you can do, consider letting someone with less skill at least get it 80% done and you can then spend (much less) a little time finalizing and perfecting it. Often is also because we don’t know how to delegate. It is all in the planning! Or maybe there is no one to delegate to? Somehow you will often find there is actually someone, you have just not considered options out of the box.
  3. DO IT NOW – because it is important but you have also allowed it to become urgent.
  4. DECIDE WHEN TO DO IT – when you have reached the stage when you are able to plan rather than fight fires, you are in a good place, this is where you want to be. Being able to PLAN when to do activities. These are also likely to be the activities that are in line with your mission statement.

GOALS & OBJECTIVES

Start by creating your own personal & work mantra and mission statement. Your mantra is constant; it is what you are about, what you stand for and where you are going in life. Your mission statement is what you want to achieve. Obviously it is not constant as each month you need to achieve specific targets.

Your personal and work mission statement must of course tie back to your activities. Your mantra remains, but your mission statement (in line with mantra) can and should be updated regularly, on a monthly basis.

You, your life, your business aspirations, all should have goals and objectives. Every meeting you plan, everything you do should have a goal and an objective. And these should be reviewed regularly. When planning your day, your week, your month and year, as well as any long-term plans, should have a goal and an objective, which should be reviewed at the end.

Once you have created your monthly (and this is ongoing) goal, put the action in your diary. Personal goals such as family life need to be included. In other words, keep time free.

You can train your brain; you can rewire your brain. It is simply a matter of repetition, of doing the same thing over and over again, of reminding yourself to create and stick to habits. All good sports people will tell you the same thing…..habits, training the brain, creating habits. It is all about muscle memory!

Repetitive actions create HABITS.

  • Put daily (e.g. wake up at same time, plan your day over coffee every morning), weekly (e.g. plan your week on a Friday evening), monthly habits (e.g. plan your month on last day of month) in place
  • Get your health habits in place (e.g. water upon waking, yoga first thing every morning, etc.)

HABITS

 One of the better known gurus on habits, Steven Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People:

You can train your brain; you can rewire your brain. It is simply a matter of repetition, of doing the same thing over and over again, of reminding yourself to create and stick to habits. All good sports people will tell you the same thing…..habits, training the brain, creating habits. It is all about muscle memory!

Repetitive actions create HABITS.

  • Put daily (e.g. wake up at same time, plan your day over coffee every morning), weekly (e.g. plan your week on a Friday evening), monthly habits (e.g. plan your month on last day of month) in place
  • Get your health habits in place (e.g. water upon waking, yoga first thing every morning, etc.)

COMMUNICATION

It seems the more we communicate, the less we hear.

I am talking about the minor details. How many have you been to collect an item on a pre-arranged date, only to find it is not ready? Even in this example, don’t just call and ask if it is ready, expand your questioning.

Or when taking an order / instruction, don’t accept the order / instruction as is. Ask questions; ask if they are expecting any further (the obvious “o I just assumed that would be included”). Play it back, and where possible articulate EXCLUDED items or deliverables.

Don’t feel embarrassed because you are in ‘senior’ company. ASK questions, clarify, confirm.

A simple phone call prior could have saved you a lot of time. COMMUNICATE. Ask questions. And play back the response to ensure you have heard what the other party intended you to hear. Where possible put it in writing, and of course agree on termino

Amazingly enough no one has the time to do things properly the first time around, yet most people find the time to rectify the errors they created by not planning and by not communicating.

 

CREATING PLANNERS

Review activities to ensure they are in line with your mission statement. If they are not, either your mission statement is meaningless or you should dump the activity.

At the beginning of the week, create a high level plan for the week. What do you need to achieve during the week? This is a not a daily calendar entry, just a plan of what must be achieved by the end of the week. This includes your small, medium and large activities. Of course you need to bear in mind that you need to allow time each day for normal activities (managing emails, lunch, commuting to work, etc.).

MANAGING E-MAILS

Social media and email are probably the bane of your life.

Rule number 1: Do not be a slave to email. Let email be a slave to you.

Change the notification settings on your email in box. Remove notifications. As with all habits, create a habit of when to check emails. This should be no more than three times a day, depending on your role and the expectations from you.

When you do read your mail, plan what to do about each mail and only touch it once in the planning stage.

  1. DUMP IT NOW – but do be well mannered enough to let the sender know where relevant
  2. DELEGATE IT – your best option so look for someone to delegate to
  3. DO IT NOW – if it is really a short reply which won’t have any impact or repercussions simply reply or action
  4. DECIDE WHEN TO DO IT – this is what you should be aiming for, being able to PLAN when to take the action required

MANAGING YOUR TIME

 

MULTI-TASKING

Multi-tasking does not exist. It is as simple as that. If we were able to do two things at once, we would be pretty amazing. Instead, we are juggling several things one after the other, never actually focusing and completing one task at a time properly.

This might be difficult to understand for those of you who believe you are multi-tasking: STOP juggling several activities and focus on one at a time.

TIME SPLICING

This is a concept explained to me by someone who achieves the most enormous amount in one day, Kurt April and practices by most successful who achieve a lot in a day. Along the lines of AGILE PROJECT MANAGEMENT.

Take small chunks of time and complete a task. For example, trying have a phone conversation, while trying to type an email, while trying to answer questions from colleagues will simply result in each of these activities being completed in a longer time, and with errors.

Rather complete the call, then move on to the email, and then sit down and answer the questions thoroughly.

DO NOT DISTURB

Whether you work in an open plan office, need a bit of me time as a mother, or work from home, there will be times when you do not want to be disturbed. Agree with those around you and put something in place to let others know not to disturb you. In an open plan office, the age old accepted DO NOT DISTURB is a red flag somewhere on your desk.

BEING A SLAVE TO PHONE CALLS

If you are in sales, ignore this point.

If not, do not be a slave to your contact points.

Record a voicemail asking the caller to return the call at 5pm when you will be back in the office. Put the onus on the caller, don’t add to your to do list! You will often find the caller does not (and does not need to) call back. If you had asked the caller to leave a message, not only would you have wasted time listening to the message, but you would have called back. And very likely taken on a action that you were delegated to or did not really need to perform. DELEGATE. Get the caller to call you back.

WHERE TO START – SORTING OUT THE BACKLOG

Like most people who are reading this article, you probably have a pile electronic or paper based backlog items awaiting attention. Set aside time; maybe a day or an hour. Do not sort through items. Simply take each and every item and ruthlessly action (file, phone someone, draft a document). Seek closure and start afresh.

WHERE TO START – GETTING ORGANIZED

Once you have created your monthly mission statement / goals, enter these in the dairy in time slots.

Next enter all daily tasks such as reading emails, lunch etc.

Before you continue, review how much time is left each day….

Now allow planning time daily, weekly and monthly. And remember to add general administration slots, training, lunch and any family commitments. Now you can start accepting actions!

Your planning is monthly; you review this on a weekly basis and each day you re-arrange by priority.

USE THE RIGHT TOOLS FOR THE JOB

In an article recently published by Synetec, George Toursoulopoulous made an excellent case for using the right tools for the right job.

Use your calendar for meetings and reminders, don’t clog your mind up trying to remember. Use Excel for finance and use Minutz for meetings. Use Reminders (the application) for reminders. But remove and don’t use unnecessary reminders or you will spend your days ‘snoozing’ reminders.   Use something like MS Project for project planning.

But above all, don’t use your brain capacity to remember meetings etc.

And even more importantly, get to know your tools. You WILL save time by spending time learning your tools!

For more information, please contact support@minutz.co or visit our website www.minutz.co or visit https://minutz.co/free-trial/ for a 60 day FREE trial.

2017-11-06T11:34:54+00:00