Time management (and how it relates to goal setting)
As we inch closer to the finish line of 2021, I’d hazard a guess that most of us are feeling like time is running out. So, as promised, I’m here to talk to you about time management in order to avoid you spending the next four weeks running around like a headless chicken not achieving an awful lot.
I’m a morning person. I like to enjoy time over breakfast, knowing I have something of a plan mapped out for the day. When did I spend time doing the mapping? The day before.
It might sound counterproductive to be slowing down to manage your time, but there’s a method to this madness and this month I encourage you all to factor these slower moments into your days. The reward will be gaining up to 25% more time and productivity for the busy days ahead. Let’s not waste another moment!
The 5 P’s
I’m sure you’ve heard about the five P’s: Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance. It’s a well-used mantra, but how well is it actually used?
When you consider how impactful this mantra can be in order to contribute to productivity and performance, it’s a wonder more people don’t just… get on and do it. But you need to start by investing a little time. Half an hour should do it. Sit down somewhere quietly, grab a pen and paper and set a timer.
Here’s what to do today to make yourself feel (and be!) more organised:
- Start by creating a master list. Everything that’s on your mind that you want to do, and need to do. Timeframe is no object, just get those irritating, floating thoughts out of your head
- Next, write down the things you want and need to achieve within the next month (i.e. before we say goodbye to 2021)
- Then break down the month ahead into weeks, and do the same exercise. What has to happen first? What’s critical? What can wait?
- Finally – and here’s where your new daily routine starts – write a daily to do list. All you have to do now is repeat the last step on a daily basis until you no longer wish to enjoy the fruits of productivity!
By spending 15 minutes – max – writing down a list of what has to happen tomorrow, you’re already ahead of yourself when your alarm goes off. Take it from me, that’s a wonderful feeling.
If you find that you have too much on your plate right now, remind yourself that it won’t be like that for long – because you’re organised now! Delegate some tasks, re-order your priorities, and re-adjust delivery deadlines where possible. The more you plan ahead, the less you’ll have to do this part.
My advice is to factor the task of writing tomorrow’s ‘to do’ list into your working day. Make it the final, must-do task before you close your laptop lid or leave the office.
Remember: 10 minutes spent planning the day before, means 25% more ‘doing’ time tomorrow.
When planning becomes a pathway.
Seeking new and interesting challenges could be considered a hobby of mine, and people often tell me what a wonderfully colourful career I’ve had. I happen to agree!
I have explored literature, early childhood education, jewellery, hospitality, tourism, competitive bodybuilding, community law and GST in all its numerical glory. It’s an eclectic mix of things, all involving learning and leadership, and I have enjoyed every single moment.
But aside from an appetite to learn and experience different things, the very reason I’ve been able to explore such a variety of things in my time is simply because I learned to plan. I didn’t just hop willy nilly from one thing to another like a carefree risk taker (well, maybe a little bit), I set my sights on things, and I made a plan. And without a shadow of a doubt it has taken me down the pathway to the interesting life I lead today.
My top tip for right now.
I want to take a moment to reinforce the importance of finding the time to plan.
When our heads are subconsciously throwing thoughts and concerns around inside, we feel overwhelmed, anxious and out of control. If you expend your energy worrying about that exact state of mind, chaos is what you’ll produce.
“We get what we focus on.”
Instead, by extracting the chaos from our minds and putting it down on paper – even better, a notebook that you use every day – we give ourselves the opportunity to untangle those thoughts which are taking up valuable thinking space, and we create ourselves a list to focus on.
The more time you take to make written lists of everything you have to – and want to – do, the more efficient you will be.
If you need help working through this process to ensure a strong start to 2022, get in touch. I’d love to help you. I offer a 45 minute free Discovery call. Email me at email@example.com and together we can fine tune your focus for the new year ahead.
The power of sharing your wisdom.
So what does all this managing time business have to do with goal setting? When you’ve worked through your crowded mind with your handy pen and paper, which will really only take a few days to settle down, you’ll start adding your goals to those lists I mentioned above. Overarching goals, monthly goals, weekly goals, daily goals.
After all, goals are simply things we’re planning to achieve.
The beauty of creating space in your day, week and month by planning ahead is that it affords you the time and space to apply that big picture thinking I touched on in the last newsletter. They go hand in hand, and together they reek of success.