Are you looking for a couple of time management techniques to add to your belt?
Want to try out a few different ways of managing your schedule?
In this post, I offer a collection of seven techniques to help you better manage all those minutes and hours.
Try some timeboxing
Don’t worry, this technique doesn’t require you to don boxing gloves, jump in the ring, and throw a few jabs at Father Time.
So, what is timeboxing? It’s quite simple, really.
You set aside a period of time work on a particular task…and then do it!
Timeboxing can be quite helpful if you have difficulty preparing, or setting a schedule for yourself.
Here’s a three-step method to get you started with timeboxing:
- Jot down three brief tasks to complete. Each should take less than fifteen minutes to finish.
- Pull out your calendar for the day, find an empty hour, and schedule in those three tasks in fifteen minute increments.
- When the time of day rolls around, do your work!
Add time buffers to your day.
Does it seem as if you have no time between meetings to catch your breath, or that you’re always rushing while traveling, trying to make it on time to appointments? If so, you may want to consider adding time buffers to your day.
Time buffers can be thought of as extra bits of time of time during your day. They give you just enough wiggle-room to deal with unexpected news, traffic delays, late deliveries, and all those other issues that pop up during the day.
Try adding in two fifteen-minute time buffers into your schedule near an appointment or meeting, or use them for traveling time. You’ll be able to breathe a little easier!
Set a timer.
We are fortunate to live in a day and age where we can press a few buttons on a digital device, forget about the time, and get on with our work.
What is this magical thing, you ask? It’s the simple act of setting a timer on your watch or smart phone.
Focus on your work (and not the clock), by setting a timer for a brief period of time. It can be fifteen, thirty, sixty, or any other time increment you so desire.
The only caveat is that you sit down and complete your work. When the timer goes off, stop what you’re doing.
TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR CALENDAR.
The Order Expert’s Guide to Time Management is a hands-on workbook that provides practical solutions to common, everyday time management problems.
Just say “No.”
When it comes to managing something, anything really, you can’t always say “yes.” Don’t be afraid to use the word “No,” in your daily routines. Your time is extremely valuable. Do what you must to protect it!
Don’t have time this week to meet a friend for drinks after work? Say “No, thank you” and schedule something on the weekend instead.
Can’t squeeze in an extra project at work? Say you’ve got a full workload.
Don’t have the hours to spare this weekend when it comes to washing cars for a fundraiser? Say “No, I’m busy then, but I’d be happy to help to organize the holiday benefit gala.”
Track your time.
How much time do you think you spend checking email each day? What about the time it takes you to get dressed and eat breakfast in the morning? How about the time you spend every afternoon on Pinterest or Facebook?
If you have no reference point when it comes to these and other tasks, you be in for a big surprise. Get a handle on where all of your time is going by tracking your time for a day.
To do this, keep a little notebook of your time, or use any time-tracking software available on the market today. Make a notation of what tasks you performed during the day, and for how long.
OK, this isn’t the most sexy of tips, but there is great benefit when it comes to starting your work early. You’ll be able to complete your work in a relaxed, and comfortable pace.
The next time you find yourself working on something that has a deadline, start working on it that very same day. You’ll find it much easier to start now, than if you waited until weeks later, or worse, the night before the item is due.
Remember, it doesn’t have to be a huge step, a small task counts, too.
Sit on something.
Do you think time management is about furiously working at break-neck speeds? Actually, time management includes being patient and waiting for things to happen.
Perhaps you don’t have yet enough information yet to make a decision, you’re waiting to hear back from someone, or maybe it just doesn’t feel “right” to take action. If so, slow things down. Take your time to sit on an idea, decision, thought, or course of action.
How about you? Which of these time management techniques interests you most? Which technique are you going to try out next? Join the conversation and leave a comment below!