BLOG: Getting Stuff Done! Tips for Time Management


Getting Stuff Done -Tips for Time Management by Heather Codling

I don’t know about you, but I always seem to have a long list of “Things To Do”, a list that never seems to get shorter even on days when I’ve barely moved from my computer screen? Emails arriving at an alarming rate, requests for meetings, whether its Zoom or face to face, as well as all the routine stuff.

Do you sometimes feel the same? Do you often question where the time goes?

Here are some tips that might help you manage your time better…

Your Own Personal Timesheet

Try keeping a timesheet of what you do for a few days – see if you can spot any trends that help you to group tasks together to clear them more quickly. Also, by seeing what you have achieved can help with motivation.

Make a List

Sounds simple, but sometimes the act of writing down what needs to be done helps with clearing the mind as to what is most important. Once you’ve made a list, prioritise the items on that list in order of importance.

Have you ever read Stephen Covey’s ‘The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People’?

One of the habits discussed in Covey’s book is the ability to identify what tasks are Important, Urgent, Not Important and Not Urgent. This helps to make sure you focus on the tasks that are Important and Urgent first, and consider what’s worth delegating.

This is where you can add most value, and can make life less stressful, not just for you but for your colleagues and clients too. It’s also known as the ‘Eisenhower Matrix’.

Book a Meeting with Yourself

Making time for yourself really matters. Book a meeting with yourself, clear your diary for an hour, and turn off the email, no distractions, just the task in hand.

There are many ways to become distracted, working from home you might think, oh, weather’s great, I’ll just put some washing on – you just wouldn’t do it when you were at the office, so don’t get distracted – remind yourself you need to focus.

You can turn this into a time management habit by making sure you book regular slots in your diary to carry out different regular tasks. But you need to be careful – be realistic with your time and be make sure you are focused on finishing the tasks within the time you’ve allocated to do the task.

The ‘F’ Word

Then there’s the ‘F’ word; “Finished” – get the job finished.

Don’t stop part way through to view something on YouTube, don’t stop for that cuppa and biscuit. Get the job completed, then reward yourself with some fun viewing and a cup of tea at the same time. Talking of rewards, a good technique is to set a timer, for say 25 minutes – work solidly on the task in hand, when the timer rings, stop, reward yourself with a short break and check progress.

Check out the ‘Pomodoro Technique’ for more info.

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Team Meetings

Team communication is vital but can be time consuming – book meetings for a limited time, make sure everyone knows the limit and stick to it.

5 minute actions

Have a look at your emails, look through those ones you’ve been putting off, they aren’t Urgent or Important, those that would take less than 5 minutes to deal with. There, in less than half an hour and you have cleared 5 tasks that have been waiting for days (possibly weeks).

Apps and tools can help too. If you like your technology, there are lots of apps out there to help you – fun ones that give you incentives to focus on the task in hand.

Getting Stuff Done sounds easy but isn’t with all the competing requests on your time. With a bit of prioritisation and pro-activity – I can kick procrastination into touch!

Find out more about Heather here.