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Making the most of your time

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Good time management skills help you make the most of each day whether you’re juggling work and family, work and study or all three. Here are some handy hints to help you work at your best even when there are not enough hours in the day.

Prioritise

Decide which task is most important and complete that first.

Begin each day with a review of tasks that need your attention and schedule your time accordingly.

Schedule

Once you’ve sorted your priorities, work these into a schedule. Your schedule may be daily, weekly, monthly or longer term depending on your job. You may like to include other commitments such as family, friends and extracurricular activities.  

Bite-sized pieces

Break down jobs into smaller manageable parts rather than one enormous task. You can then complete a small task straight away instead of putting it off. Many small wins often equate to the completion of a much bigger task!

Early bird or night owl?

Work out when you mind is at its best and match your schedule the most challenging tasks when your brain is at its peak. Also consider who else you’ll need to work with to complete these tasks, and when they’re free.

What’s around you?

What type of surroundings do you work best in? Do you need a quiet surrounding, or prefer music to get your creativity flowing? Do you prefer to work on the sofa, at a desk or standing up? Do you like to be inside with the all the comforts of modern living or outside among nature? Try out some different working conditions to see what suits you best.

Evaluate your existing schedule

Look at your current schedule to see where your time is being spent. Record your activities for a week to understand how much of your time is spent working on delivering on tasks versus being wasted on unproductive conversations and activities.

Plan for interruptions

Life has a way of getting in the way so it’s important not to get too hung up on interruptions to your schedule. Instead, plan for at least 20% of your time to be unproductive and be prepared to switch off and shut down when a crisis occurs, an unplanned visitor arrives or you get an unexpected phone call. Try treating each interruption as an opportunity.

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