Time management. A subject that isn't given its deserved amount of...wait for it...time.
Most of my blogs focus on concepts, teachings, books, etc that I claim have made such an impact on my life and day to day activities, they become life changing. When I tap into a teaching that is easily accessible, understood, and leads to a happier life, I want to share that with everyone. My goal is to open the gateways that will lead people to live happier, more peaceful lives and flourish in their daily relationships with others. Time management is one of these gateways.
Do you find yourself saying, "I would love to do that, but I just don't have enough time" or "I am always so busy?"
There are many bad habits we have adopted in this information overload era, the era of constant digital distractions. The good news: we can un-teach bad habits, triumph over digital distractions, and develop healthier habits that will lead to a happier way of living.
I spent a weekend completing two LinkedIn Learning courses by Dave Crenshaw, thought leader, public speaker, and online trainer who has mastered the art of building productive leaders. Here are some quick tips I have implemented from his two courses: Time Management Fundamentals and Time Management for Managers. Some of these tips will seem, and are, very obvious, even elementary but ask yourself if you operate your day using all of the below methods. If you do not, you might experience a feeling of anxiety, chaos, and an overwhelming week ever too often.
I tried these methods, stuck to them, and it transformed my time management in just 5 days:
1. Eliminate distractions
Socialize less at work, put your phone away until lunch, eliminate personal social media engagement until lunch, and schedule time on your calendar to process email. You are not obligated to answer every single email right away, unless it's time sensitive to a project.
2. Open workspaces are not your friend
I work in an open workspace so what do I do? Book a conference room for some of the day or sit in an area that is more secluded. This is one of the best methods that helps me regain focus, becoming a Focus Superwoman. It allows for less interruptions and I am here to tell you, no one's world came to an end when I secluded myself. I got much more done, made less mistakes, and was able to deliver quality work.
3. Schedule all your projects
Most people use their calendar for appointments with others and meetings. Start using your calendar to schedule blocks of time for your broader projects and do not stray from that particular project unless it's an absolute time sensitive matter. Schedule your day in the morning and then follow that schedule. Most important: schedule time for a break.
For example, here is what I might schedule in my day:
8:30am - 9:45am Social Media (work related)
This means, from 8:30-9:45 I will focus only on social media management and everything related, like new projects, managing community comments, scheduling social posts, creating social media content and assets. I will not switch task (jump) to "Events" because I have allocated time for this at 10:00am. Your mind will stray, it will try to stress you out, however it's much worse skipping all around different tasks because it will cause more mistakes, more time, and more stress.
4. Take a break
This is especially true in environments that do not provide a strict schedule with allocated breaks. You must take time to give your mind and body a break. Take a short walk or do some breathing exercises. Many people just don't take this piece seriously. They think that they are getting more done than a person who might take breaks but it's not true in the long run. Studies show that when you do take a break, your mind re-energizes and is able to focus better, essentially getting more done in less time.
5. Educate yourself on time management
Time management is a skill that needs to be practiced. So many people think multi-tasking is a good thing, something to be put on a resume, but it actually isn't always a good thing and works against time management. I did not know this until I began my journey into managing my time better. There are so many valuable resources to teach you about the above tips and more.
Here are a few to get you started:
Check out Dave Crenshaw's website for other books and resources.
Invest in LinkedIn Learning, the training courses are invaluable.
What are some of your time management tips?
Thanks for tuning in,
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My Mantra: Strive to be the best me and improve a little every day. Be compassionate, especially to those who may not practice it. Continue to learn and love. Take a moment multiple times each day to breathe. Forgive myself and forgive others. Read books. Live what I preach. Accept others. And above all, laugh every single day. (P.S. I have an infatuation for horror and disturbing and dark true stories.)