- I didn’t get anything done today that I needed to!
- There aren’t enough hours in a day!
Well, lucky for you and for all of us that February is National Time Management month. It’s a reminder that we need to take a step back and determine WHAT’S not working as it relates to our calendars/schedule and more importantly, WHY. Time Management is so far reaching that I could write a different blog post about it every day of the year. But I’ve decided to give you some of my favorite tips for managing my time and hopefully yours…
- Make sure you clearly define your SMART (Specific/Measurable/Achievable/Relevant/Time-bound) goals so that you know what you’re working toward in critical areas of your life (family/friends, health, work, financial, etc.) Batch related tasks together, assign due dates, time limits and then schedule blocks of time on your calendar to get them done.
- Know when your body/mind do their best for focused work and schedule tasks on your calendar accordingly. Save mindless tasks for when you’re not as sharp.
- We all have that “elephant in the room”… that task we need to get done but procrastinate on for whatever reason. The tip is that you can’t step over the elephant in the room…you have to look that damn elephant in the eyes and confront him first thing. Once you get the task done, you’ll feel empowered, energized and excited to move on to other tasks.
- Prevent interruptions. Turn your phone off, disable computer notifications for email, social media, etc.
- Set alarms to keep you on track throughout the day to keep you on task. At a minimum, reassess how you’re doing halfway through your day and make adjustments as necessary. At the end of the day, create tomorrow’s plan so you can hit the ground running in the morning.
- Determine how you’re wasting your time. Whether you do this on paper or a spreadsheet or app, document how you spend your time for a full week (24/7)… including sleep. To make it easier, you can track it 30 minute increments. Be sure to include time wasters… social media, tv, web browsing, etc. This may be an eye-opening experience! Then determine which time-wasting habits you want to change and which good time management habits you either want to continue and improve.
- Learn to say “no” to events, projects, etc. that don’t support your SMART goals.
- If possible, use only 1 calendar system whether paper or electronic. If you use more than one, you’re wasting time trying to maintain both.
- Document important systems/procedures/best practices for getting things done so you can be more efficient and save time in the future. Get a little better every day and update your document with your tweaks.
- In my humble opinion, I’ve saved the best tip for last… eliminate the word “later” from your vocabulary and try not to say it. How many times have you said “I’ll do it later” and never do. So schedule a block of time on your calendar every day labelled “later” and get as many of those important things done as you can.
“You will never find time for anything. If you want time, you must make it.” ~ Charles Buxton ~
Brenda Tringali, Organizing, Productivity & HR Specialist
At Your Fingertips Organizing
Serving Greater Myrtle Beach, SC or “virtually” anywhere (via phone/video)
Brenda Tringali is the owner of At Your Fingertips Organizing. She provides workplace/residential Productivity and Organizing services to clients in the Myrtle Beach, SC area & “virtually” anywhere via video, phone, etc. Drawing from her 30 years of Human Resources/Staffing experience, she also helps clients with HR needs as well. Brenda is Chair of the NAPOCares Committee which highlights the efforts of NAPO members, NAPO Chapters, and NAPO Business Partners as they reach out to share the three “T’s” of social responsibility: Time, Treasures, and Talents. She is also Director at Large for NAPO’s Virtual Chapter.