Time management hacks

TIME – the one thing no-one ever seems to have enough of! From running out of, to didn’t have enough, to wasting; time is a precious commodity that controls our lives! In a modern day world with millions of time saving applications, gadgets, and ideas we seem to have less time than ever to do and enjoy the things we love!

Taking control and getting ahead is ideally where we want to be, but this is always easier said than done. In this article I show you some time management skills that will help you look at your task list differently and hopefully help you find a system that works for you.

Do’s & Don’ts

  • Do plan your task list – failing to plan is planning to fail!
  • Do write down everything that is a task – many people only list work oriented items on their to do list but you will get more done and see a much clearer picture if you list personal and business tasks
  • Do ask for help or delegate – once you can clearly see all your tasks in one place you can clearly see what others can help with!
  • Don’t procrastinate – easier said than done but if you are thinking about something at least add it to your to do list, that way it won’t get forgotten, the biggest problem of procrastination!
  • Don’t get overwhelmed – your list will seem very big when you first start planning, it doesn’t mean you have to get it all done in a day!
  • Don’t give up – most people fail at new regimes because they simply give up because something appears to be a lot of work. It will be to start with but it will get easier!

Start Small

So let’s start small, let’s write a daily task list. Sit down the night before or first thing in the morning with a relaxing drink if that’s your thing a write a list of all the things you can think of that you would like to get done the next day. This doesn’t mean you are going to get them all done but it’s good to see the bigger picture. Here is an example:

Make doctor’s appointmentCook supper
Walk dogslaundry
Call schoolSchedule social media for month
Write blog postCreate spreadsheet for client
Send introduction e-mails to new contactsPost article on LinkedIn
Create infographicPay bills
Cancel magazine subscriptionBake snacks

Check your e-mails first thing, respond to any that you can if they are quick replies. Anything longer than 5 minutes response time add to your task list. Next go through and highlight anything that takes 10 minutes or less.

Make doctor’s appointmentCook supper
Walk dogslaundry
Call schoolSchedule social media for month
Write blog postCreate spreadsheet for client
Send introduction e-mails to new contactsPost article on LinkedIn
Create infographicPay bills
Cancel magazine subscriptionBake snacks

So now in less than an hour you have got rid of 4 tasks. Now apply your preferred method of time management from the below list. You don’t have to stick to the same one every day, you can switch up your method but use one exclusively on a given day for max results.

  1. B.C.D – if the task is crucial, mark it A, if Important, mark it B, if some value, mark it C. if having little or no value, mark it D, complete A’s first, then B’s and so on. Move what you didn’t get done today to the next day’s task list.
  2. Trend – Ask yourself: if left alone will the situation get better, worse or stay the same? Do the tasks that get worse first. Move what you didn’t get done to the next day’s task list
  3. Effort – Effort versus Return: Look for the task requiring the least effort but providing good return. Do those tasks first, move anything that didn’t get done to the next day’s task list?
  4. Gut Feel – if you could only do one task today, which one would it be? Mark it #1, do this first. If you could only do one thing today, which one would it be? Mark it #2 and so on until all the tasks are numbered, work on them in order and move the rest to the next day’s task list.

Each method will give you different results and it is important to realize that there is no magic list of what is the most important task to get done when it comes to time management, these are just tools to help you focus, because we are more productive when we focus.