These time management tips or tools could help you climb out of the clutter and chaos. Twenty-four hours each day is all you have. You cannot do everything, so how can we help you?
Time Management Tips
We all have the same amount of time each day. Our time management is the difference between what we dream and what we achieve. Here are some time management tips to help you get the most out of your day.
Computers eat time
Computers are like food – they can nourish you or they can make you fat and lazy. This all depends on how much you consume and of what quality. It is really easy to get distracted and find yourself 4 hours later having Stumbled and Facebooked into a mindless stupor – and your original goal hasn’t been done.
If you find you waste time on your computer, then portion control is one way to manage this. Set an egg timer for half an hour. Allow yourself to wallow and enjoy mindless surfing for that half an hour. When the bell rings get back to work!
Manage your email
The best tip to increase your productivity with email is to change how often your email downloads to your inbox. If you allow it to download every time you get an email – you will constantly be distracted as you check your emails. Go into your email preferences and set the auto-download to no more than once an hour.
If you are really strong – take off the auto-download totally and only get downloads when you click “send and receive all”. That way you control when you are willing and able to read and action your emails as they come in.
Touch everything only once
How many of us have a “get back to it” mountain piled somewhere. It is so large you have heard that a team of Sherpa’s and mountaineers are arranging to have it included in the great mountain climbs of the world.
The best time management tip is to touch everything only once. If you pick something up then decide before you put it down what you are going to do with it (and then do it then and there). Toss it – file it- answer it – fix it – delegate it – feed it. That’s pretty much your only options with stuff you touch.
Do it now. File it now if you really want to keep it (or toss it). Answer it now – even if it is just a quick note rather than a long letter (or toss it). Fix it now (or toss it). Delegate it to a family member to deal with (or toss it) … notice any themes here?
Unless you are going to action it now the odds are you will never get around to it. You will just move it from place to place until in 6 years time you toss it. Cut out the middle time – do it now or toss it now.
Allocate time in order of your values
When setting your to do list – allocate time in order with your values. If your kids are the most important thing in your life, then they should get the most time. Have a look at where you spend your time at present. If your kids get 5 minutes and the floor 2 hours there is something wrong with the time allocation.
Find ways to reduce time on stuff that are low on your values hierarchy (go back to the toss it – delegate it approach for ideas here).
Think it – ink it
If it isn’t written down you will forget it or misplace it. One of the best time management tools is a central family calendar where everything important is written down – meetings, appointments, regular check-ups, bills, names of the children.
If action is needed it has to be written on the central family calendar (otherwise it doesn’t get done). Stand firm on this rule and allow your kids to wear the consequences of the “not inked not done” rule (even if this means projects are not handed in, cakes are not baked for the cake stall and tears and tantrums rule the house for an hour etc).
It generally only takes one missed event for the kids to learn to take the pen and ink it in themselves. Saves a lot of time and heartache for you and helps to teach them good time management skills in the process.