from Maren Perry, Executive Coach
With Autumn right around the corner, many of us are wondering… where did the time go?! All those plans I had to complete things during the “quiet” summer months… thwarted!
So as we move into the bustle of Autumn, I offer some of my favorite time-saving tips.
Top Ten Time Management Tips
- Everyone has 24 hours in a day. You can’t “save” time, or “manage” time… Time is just doing its thing. What you can manage is where and how you allocate your energy and focus. So allocate it in places that are most important to you.
- Delegate. Most of us think we can’t delegate anything more. Try it. Give up one more thing to someone else.
- Train someone to do something you want to get off your plate. Initially, yes, it may take more time than doing it yourself, but in the long run it will save you time for things only you can do.
- Schedule everything. Rather than fill your calendar with meetings and then pretend like you’re also going to get a ten page to-do list done, put the to-do’s in your calendar. It will get clear fast how much time you actually need, not how much time you wish it took.
- Schedule time for breakdowns. If you know that someone always calls with an emergency that takes you away from your other tasks, don’t schedule back-to-back all day and think you’ll also be able to handle emergencies. There are always emergencies, so schedule for them.
- Make time for “Important but not Urgent” tasks. If you build this into your schedule, you’ll be better prepared for long-term goals and not everything will end up being urgent.
- Tell people how much time you have for them. Don’t let meetings go longer than allotted. When someone arrives at your door, let them know you have 7 minutes for them, or whatever you have. You’d be amazed at how much more efficient other people get when we start sticking to our own schedules.
- Cut out time-suckers. You know what they are for you…. email, internet? Turn off the auto-download on your email and only check them at certain times. Let people know when/how they can reach you in emergencies and otherwise train yourself to only answer email at certain times.
- Take time off. We work better and more efficiently when we’re not run ragged. That means leaving work on time and taking vacations.
- Get a sense of humor. Most of us are not doing brain surgery, so it’s OK, no one is going to die. Be able to laugh at yourself and others. If you won’t remember it five years from now, lighten up.
If you think you have tried all these things and they don’t make a difference to you, there may be more to it than meets the eye. Often when people tell me they just can’t get a handle on their time, there’s something more happening, some underlying issue that has them out of control. Identifying that makes a huge difference.
For instance, I had one client who had learned never to say “No” to anyone, and so was always unwilling to stop the meeting, or not take on the project, etc. Shifting how she related to herself and her own value then suddenly made a difference in her relationship to time.
If you’d like to have that conversation for yourself or your team, give us a call!
In the meantime, I challenge you to take on at least ONE of the above tips this month.
Let us know how it goes!
Contact Maren Perry at Arden Coaching
Call (646) 684 3777 today!