Time Management Skills for People Like Me
by Lisa Krueger
Are you perpetually late for appointments, meetings, etc.? I admit, I can be. It seems like I always feel I can take one more phone call or complete one more email before flying out the door and speeding off to my next function. I am also the world’s biggest procrastinator and have been known to put projects off until hours before a deadline. Take it from me - this is not a good way to do business.
Lifehacker.com has some great tips for people like me and maybe some of you.
- Create a daily plan – do it the night before so there are no surprises in the morning. Then stick to the plan. There are plenty of smart phone app’s to help out with scheduling and calendars.
- Give yourself a time limit for each task. Be clear that you must finish project X by 10 a.m., project y by 3 p.m., etc.
- This is a big one for busy people – learn to say no! Don’t take on more than you can handle; giving 50% to a project is never impressive. I have more respect for colleagues who tell me no to begin with, then those who only get part of a job done right.
- Target earliness. Strive to be early to appointments so you have time to catch your breath before a big meeting or interview. Relax.
- Have a clock in your line of sight. Or a big watch on your arm. Use the alarm features. Here’s mine.
- Focus – multi-tasking is great if it’s done right. But sometimes you can multi-task so much that nothing gets accomplished.
- Shut the front door. Or the back door. Or your office door. Turn your phone ringer to mute. Don’t log on to the internet. Distractions can be the death of a great project.
- Track the time you spend – you’ll be amazed at time wasted.
- Don’t fuss about small details. If you’ve read “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff” you’ll understand this one. Most of it really is small stuff.
- Set priorities. Do the things only you can do, and DELEGATE the rest. Once you’ve mastered the art of delegation you’ll feel liberated.
- Leave buffer time. When you’ve got a full day of appointments, don’t try and squeeze in one more. Take some time to reflect in-between.
Now that I’ve finished this article and only 20 hours behind schedule, I’m taking my own advice – it’s time for a cup of coffee and quite reflection on today’s events.