Focusing on Time Management, or simply the ability to manage time effectively, has become a critical skillset for remote, hybrid, and in-person workplaces. The ability to quickly adapt to different working conditions and environments has never been quite as crucial as it is today. Time Management can also assist in decreasing stress and anxiety, both of which have become household names. I’ve provided five of my go-to tips to help you get started with time management. Leave a comment and let me know what additional tips you have for managing time effectively!
Tip #1: CREATE ROUTINES!
Be prepared to create routines that you will hold yourself accountable to. Consider when you are at your best, and worst, for a routine. Think through times, days, and frequencies that are realistic for both your professional and personal life. If something consistency feels urgent or forgotten, that is probably an indicator for creating a new routine.
Tip #2: Know Your Week
At a time and day that best fits your schedule, create a weekly routine to review your upcoming week. Identify critical activities, events, and deliverables with color-coding, naming conventions, or labels that will help draw your attention to them. This review can be done physically with a planner, sticky notes, and paper or virtually utilizing a tool such as Online Calendars, Mural, or Trello. It also helps to know when you have an early start or a late finish. Consider drive times or transitions from one activity to another – do you have enough time?
Tip #3: Plan Your Week
After you know your week, create a weekly routine, at a time and day that best fits your schedule, to plan for your upcoming week. Refer back to the review you did in the previous tip. How much time is needed for deliverables? Do you have enough time within the week to get the deliverables done? Do you have what you need for the week, or do you need to complete some prep work? Is anything overlapping or conflicting? Do you need to reschedule or cancel any activities?
Tip #4: Prepare Your Week
It is time to focus on prioritization. Visualizing the work to be done, prioritizing it, and determining how much of it you can work on throughout the day and week are leading practices for preparing your week. Personal Kanban by Jim Benson and Tonianne DeMaria Barry and PK 101 offered by Modus Cooperandi, Inc. are wonderful resources for learning how to use Kanban to prepare for, execute, and complete your week. Also, Cornerstone Agility will provide a future blog specifically focused on this topic. Stay tuned!
Tip #5: Shift Happens (Breathe!)
Despite the routines, planning, and preparation of your week, shift is inevitable. When unexpected changes occur, start by breathing, and continue to breathe! Then, focus on what you can control. Make any immediate adjustments and notify those who are impacted. Revisit your plan and priorities – make changes and move forward. Tomorrow is coming; let’s be ready for it!