Hey guys, it is Courtney with Revela. How often do you think to yourself, “I just don’t have time to go to the gym,” or, “I can’t meet that project deadline”? Or maybe you are a person who can’t say no, so when someone needs help, you take on their project as well. Either way, I bet you spend your day stressed, trying to play catch up. So, how do you get time on your side? Here are few tips to get you started…
First, figure out how you actually spend your time. Here at Revela, we use an activity log. It looks similar to this. You would chart your activity at the top and on the side, you fill in the time of day and your energy level. It is broken up into 15 minute increments, so if you come to work in the morning and are following up on emails, you would write that in as your activity and shade in one small box from 8:00-8:15am. You can log your activities however you like, but make sure you do it consistently for a week. If you go to the water cooler and chat with a co-worker about the basketball game last weekend, write that down. If someone stops by your office for a 15 minute impromptu meeting, jot that down as well.
Now, take a look at how you spent your week. Highlight activities that you think are time-wasters. Chatting with co-workers about non-work topics, checking Facebook, procrastinating, tinkering with technology; even having to follow up on a project when the communication is unclear. If you didn’t ask enough questions in the beginning to fully understand the project, you are now wasting more time having to go back and ask those questions to figure out exactly what is needed.
Next, make sure you are noting when your energy level is the highest. For example, I am a morning person, so when I come in, I’m ready to start the day and tackle projects that require a little more creativity and a little more brain power. I won’t be doing those projects at 4:00 in the afternoon. I save that time for making copies, organizing my desk for the next day, and updating my planner.
Finally, how can we cut those time wasters down? Could you turn your phone over, so you can’t see notifications light up? Could you shut your email off? Could you close your door to completely concentrate at the task on hand? I’m not saying to lock yourself in your office all day, blinds closed, with a do not disturb sign. But if you are a person who is more active and awake in the morning, make that your time to be in the “zone.” Be sure to let your team know why you will not be returning emails immediately or why your door is closed. Also, it would be a good idea to ask your team when they feel they have the most energy. Could you be bugging them during their high-level energy time?
Now, we all know that interruptions will happen and not everything can wait, but by figuring out where your time wasters are and eliminating them when possible, this will give you more hours to work with.
Managing time well is about disciplining yourself, allocating your time wisely, and gaining control over the outcome of your day. Over my next few videos, I will be discussing other useful tips on how to become more efficient and more productive with your time.
Struggling to manage your time? So what are you going to do?