Time Management Habits
Posted on 6th December 2017 at 11:04
“Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin” – Mother Teresa
Time Management Habits
We all have bad habits when it comes to managing our time. As 2017 comes to a close, what habits would you like to change to support your productivity in 2018?
Bad habits make you more inefficient, less productive and just adds to the stress you experience when you feel you are not making progress.
Recently I delivered a time management workshop and listed below are my top 10 habits that I believe will help you to improve your productivity.
1. Trash perfectionism
Stop striving for perfectionism, it will drive you crazy. It is OK to set yourself high standards however it’s also important to get balance. Sometimes perfectionism is the excuse for avoiding rejection, criticism and failure and this may be a subconscious habit. When you aim for a high standard you are more open to learning from your mistakes. When you aim for perfectionism you are trying to control the outcome because there is some underlying fear.
2. Beat procrastination
Work out what makes you procrastinate. Again there is usually an underlying reason. If you can figure out what’s stopping you from completing the task you can address it and move forward.
3. Set priorities and schedule your time
Steven Covey talks about the importance of knowing the difference between what is important and what is urgent. Get clear on 5 of the most important tasks that you need to complete and put them in order of importance. Schedule these tasks into your diary and make them non-negotiable.
4. Create SMART Goals
Whatever goals you are working on make sure they are SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timebound). Then you can work backwards by planning and scheduling key activities into your diary. Review your goals and monitor your progress.
5. Stop making excuses
We all have access to 24 hours in the day yet some people manage there time and get the important things done whilst others make excuses. Moaning and complaining about your to do list will only make you feel overwhelmed. If you don’t take time to plan your day, you are likely to be planning to have an unproductive day.
6. Learn to say ‘No’!
Learning to say ‘No’ means you can focus your time on the things that are important to you. It is definitely a skill and a practice and when done properly it can be highly effective. This also means saying ‘No’ to distractions that take you off track like answering phone calls, checking emails and pings on your phone.
7. Use time saving techniques
There are so many tools and apps that you can use to manage your time. Work out what works best for you. A diary, a to do list or an app on your phone. Whatever tool you use, it should be effortless, provide structure and a system that supports your productivity.
8. Focus on one important task at a time
Believe it or not, the brain isn’t built to multitask and can only do one thing at a time. You might be thinking if you multitask you are being more efficient and productive. However when it comes to completing important tasks you are likely to be impairing your performance as it likely to block your creativity and ability to come up with the best solutions if you are problem solving.
9. Take breaks
Research shows that after about 60 to 90 minutes your performance will start to drop. Taking a regular 5 to 10 minutes break will help you to focus and re-energise. Ideally change your environment and take the opportunity to stretch your body. You can set a timer to remind you to stop.
Simple breathing techniques will help you to boost your resilience by recharging your inner battery of energy. Just focusing your attention on your breathing will help to reduce any stress or anxiety that you might be experiencing.
Being productive means working smarter and not harder. By changing your habits you can increase your motivation and boost your energy in just a few minutes.
Over to You
I would love to hear what your top productivity tips are for time management. Leave a comment below.
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