February was “Time Management Month”.

  • Time management is not just useful to help plan your workday effectively, but it should be used to integrate your workday into your personal and family life. This will ensure you are able to keep a work-life balance. Especially now, when a lot of us are working from home or homeschooling, these lines can become blurred.

    Life can sometimes feel like a race against time. Work, family, hobbies, are all things that must be carefully balanced, and it can sometimes become overwhelming. Time is only 24 hours each day – we can´t change that, but we can change how we utilise that time more efficiently.

    Everybody needs some time to unwind and relax. However, many of us don’t actually get enough of it. There is always something that comes in the way and it can be extremely difficult to even find 10 minutes of spare time. Managing your time effectively can help you with this and relieve some of the stresses of daily life.

    Effective time management leaves no space for procrastination. And the more effective you become at managing your time, the easier it will get to discipline yourself and avoid procrastinating.
     
    Good time management has a domino effect. All you need to do is start the cycle.
     
     
    I recently had a conversation with time management expert, Jo Bendle. Jo helps female business owners make every hour of every day productive and profitable, and this is her favourite quotation:
    "People do not decide their futures, they decide their habits, and their habits decide their futures” – C M Alexander
    Here´s what else Jo had to say, “Our current habits will literally create our future. Wowsers! This blew my mind when I first came across it. And now, I never share a time management tip without starting with this. Your habits matter. A lot more than you realise. Plus, habits are a way better thing to rely on than motivation.
     
    Start with a couple of simple habits like starting and ending the day right! End your day with a super short, super-powerful “End of Day Review” where you set yourself up for success tomorrow. If you do this every day you will get so much awareness around what is really going on with your time (and FYI that might be a little bit confronting!) Bring it on I say. We can´t change what we don´t have awareness of.
     
    My other tip is around decisions. Decision making is a massive time suck! Use your end of day review to plan tomorrow. Make all decisions ahead of time and then show up for your plan, your schedule, and your actions. DECIDE to show up for yourself. Habits and making decisions ahead of time will change the game when it comes to having more time. I promise!”
     
    Of course, sometimes, we might need a little help to keep our time management on track! Who remembers all the time management courses using flip charts? They were very clever as they were created at the moment by brainstorming and writing on the board with different coloured markers. They were also productive, as the colours draw the eye and the creation as part of the session ensured focus. FOCUS and HABIT are what it is all about.
     
    There are many strategies, tools, tips, courses, and books around today to help with time management. We also had lots of suggestions from our Costa Women as to what helps them in business. Here are some others that you might like to look up:
     
    Workflow tools
    • Trello
    • Pomodoro Timer
    • The Eisenhower Matrix/Box
    • The Kanban Board

     

    Digital Time Planners

    • Any.do
    • Timepage (by Moleskine)
    • RescueTime Time Management and Digital Wellness
    • Focus Keeper (Boosts motivation to complete tasks)
    • MyLifeOrganized (MLO) – manages your To-Do lists effectively
    • Focus@Will – (Boosts your attention span)

     

    Making and following a task schedule reduces anxiety. But rather than a “to-do” list, as Ali Meehan suggests in her Activate Growth course, think of it as “rocks, pebbles and stones”. If you prioritise your tasks into large and important, medium and can do later or delegate, this will help you avoid feeling stressed.

     

    Tips

    • Set your day out in chunks of time/break projects into smaller tasks
    • Understand/Recognise when you are at your most productive (ie first thing, or after kids have gone to school, or after lunch, evening etc). 
      Do your important tasks and planning then
    • Limit your WhatsApp and messenger to emergency people only
    • Learn to say no
    • Look ahead – pre-empt/prepare
    • Ask for help/delegate
    • Set a work finishing time each day and stick to it

     

    When you live according to this strategy, you designate breaks throughout the day to look at your phone, your social media accounts, your emails, your favourite websites, and all that other good stuff.

    Books

    • Time management in 20 minutes a day
    • Stop Procrastinating/To-Do List Formula (2 books in 1)
    • 15 secrets successful people know about time management
    • Manage your day-to-day
    • Eat that frog
    • The Big Leap

    If you have any other suggestions or comments, please let us know. Share your experiences with us. Thank you x