Do you know how long it takes you to do routine tasks such as check your email, buy groceries, write a thank you note, or select what you are going to wear the next day? Being able to estimate time is a critical skill for effective time management. Being able to realistically estimate how long it takes you to begin and complete a project or task is the key to stress-free planning. You probably know how long it takes you to shower and get dressed for work because you are aware of when you need to wake up, get those tasks done, and leave for work. It’s the little things though that trip us up. Here are some ways to gather useful information about how you are currently spending time. Once you have this accurate information you will be able to make informed decisions about adjusting, re-prioritizing and managing your time. TIP #1: Select a specific activity that you think takes too long or interferes with other things that you need to do. Set a timer when you begin and end the activity. Collect this information for 3-5 days. Did you think that you spent this much time on the specific activity? Is it too much, not enough, or adequate? TIP #2: Select a task or activity that you think takes up too much of your time. Decide how much time you would rather spend doing it and allocate that amount of time on 2 different days. Schedule those blocks of time on specific days and write them into your planner. When you do them as scheduled, note how much you got done. Was it less or more than you expected? TIP #3: Account for all of your time and try doing a weekly audit. For an entire week, jot… read more →
When someone asks me to work with them to find more time I begin with a very specific question: “What for?” It’s just like having more space, what you will do with it is important to know from the start. Do you want more time to get more things done, or to do things that you never make time to do? How will having more time fulfill you and your goals or relationships? One of the ways that might help you to figure this out is to begin with a “brain dump”, list everything that you have or want to put on your to do list. Then, begin to sort the to do items into 1 of 4 categories: Things I don’t want to do, but have to do. Things I don’t want to do, and don’t have to do. Things that I want to do and have to do. Things that I want to do, but don’t have to do. Are you beginning to see a pattern and the possibility of items that you can delete or delegate? Effective time management is about decision making, making choices, and creating more time for the things that are important to you.