Are you managing it, or is it managing you?
The temptation to constantly check our smartphones, visit social media sites, and even open emails that we can see are of no importance are hijacking our ability to take control of our time.
If this is happening to you, take back the control and adopt some of the time management tips below:
- Question routines, habits and assumptions – your own and others
- Emails and phone calls are usually major opportunities to improve time management. Don’t let them manage you – manage them
- Try to check your messages at planned times, and try to avoid continuous notification of incoming emails. You may have to explain why you are doing this to people who communicate with you
- Challenge anything that could be wasting time and effort, particularly habitual tasks, meetings and reports where responsibility is inherited or handed down from above. Don’t be a slave to a process or system that no longer works
- Be firm and diplomatic in dealing with time allocated for meetings, paperwork, telephone, and visitors, etc. If you keep a time log you will see how much time is wasted. Take control. Provided you explain why you are managing your time in this way, people will generally understand and respect you for it
- Always question deadlines to establish the true situation – people asking you to do things will often say ‘now’ when ‘later today’ or ‘tomorrow’ would be perfectly acceptable. Appeal to the other person’s own sense of time management: it’s impossible for anyone to do a good job without the opportunity to plan and prioritise