Let’s talk about time management.
It’s something we all struggle with…but here are some basic points to address when it comes to managing your time well:
1. Make a plan.
If you don’t outline what’s a priority, you’ll decide it when you’re not seeing the big picture. A client can come through at ANY minute with an emergency request (and granted, some requests actually justify as emergencies), but if you don’t define the way you need to spend your time….you’ll lose it and wonder what happened.
2. Take breaks.
Just as said above, if you can’t see the big picture, you’ll get bogged down and lost in the details! It’s easier to focus on one project at a time, when you’re not toggling between a million items on your to-do list! Taking a break can help you feel refreshed AND seeing the big picture so that you are confident the important things are being taken care of.
3. Outline your plan ahead of time and include delegation details.
If you are making plans for your schedule, plan them in advance. Most importantly, if you are scheduling work for someone else on your team, or for a client to deliver an important asset, it’s imperative that you take the time in advance to be sure they have everything they need. It’s awful to have the delegated work fall through the cracks, done late or at the last minute because they didn’t have the information they needed to complete the project on schedule. Taking the steps to ensure they have what they needs, saves you time later.
4. When you can, take some time at the end of the day or the end of the week to reflect.
What did you end up spending time on? What worked well? What didn’t? What do you need more time for? Time tracking apps (the smart ones) can help with this. There was a time where I manually and…physically (gasp!) tracked my time. I literally took a moment at every hour to mark with a colored label for the type of work completed that hour. Now, I don’t do this every day, but on occasion it’s nice to physically make note of what you’re doing!
5. Last but not least…be kind.
It’s easy to be hard on yourself. Remember these two key things: Not everything can get done in a day (even when you have a realistic plan) and, everything takes time to build. Be patient with the process and the journey required to build something truly great. When everything is said in done, be kind to yourself and be kind to others. Work and time can wait. Have a good conversation, grab coffee with a friend, and read a good book. ENJOY your time and it will take all the pressure (to manage your time) off.