OWN A 36 HOURS WORKDAY
There are lots of great tips for time management. Here’s one of the more comprehensive lists available. Just look for the tips you need, and note the rest to add to your general management training knowledge. Dive deeper on some of these tips, if necessary, by doing a few Google searches to gather more detailed advice on the points that apply to your needs.
1. Set Specific Goals.
To achieve your goals, you need to decide what they are. Then, you can
more easily filter out all the distractions, quit spending time on low-value
pursuits and time-wasters that eat up your time, and apply a more centred
perspective to deciding what’s worth adding to your schedule.
2. Organise Your Schedule.
Use your calendar for recording appointments, tracking deadlines,
blocking time for various work, and other scheduled tasks and external
activities. Decide on the best dates to schedule various types of activities.
Add a running To Do List, to carry forward from day to day, and eliminate those
tasks in order of priority.
3. Plan Your Week in Advance.
Having a plan laid out at the start of the week allows you greater
flexibility to manage your days. It gives you a generally set framework of
priorities, making it easier to visualise and utilise your total bandwidth.
4. Plan Your Day in Advance.
At the start of your day, list everything you want to accomplish TODAY.
Pull items from your calendar and your To Do List, to populate your TODAY list,
or just highlight items on the running To Do List.
5. Give Up on the Multitasking Myth.
Harvard Business Review offers insights dispelling the virtues of multitasking as a management methodology. Don’t get
swept up in the typical sense of over-confidence in an ability to do many tasks
simultaneously and deliver
6. Declutter Your Environment.
A tidy workspace can’t solve all problems, but it can make it easier to
find your stuff. That’s a timesaver. It’s okay to do it gradually, a drawer
here, a closet there. Or, just take the plunge and shape things up.
7. Give Up on Dreams of Perfection.
Know when the project is completed. Nudge toward perfection only to the
extent that makes sense in terms of the amount of time you’re spending. At some
point, the law of diminishing returns takes hold, which means you’re crossing
the threshold of giving more than the total value you’re getting back.
8. Don’t Fixate on Small Details.
Don’t lose sight of the big picture of your mission. Don’t spin your
wheels, mired in irrelevant details from any sources. Cut through the minutia
and peripheral noise, and keep your eye on the prize.
9. Limit Time for Various Tasks.
Decide how much time you need to spend on various tasks. Setting some
time limits can increase your efficiency, and it can help you plan for
potential problems and plan a strategy for solving those.
10. Don’t Wait to Feel Inspired Before
Keep perspective. You don’t need to feel like doing every task you need to do,
in order to do it.
Recognise your uninspired attitude toward an undesirable task, and just reject
its power to prevent you from moving forward. To borrow a phrase, “Just do it!”
11. Figure Out When You’re Best at Doing Your
Current wisdom says do your most challenging tasks in the morning, when
you’re most rested and ready for challenges of the day. This arrangement is
likely to work best for you too. But, if you find you’re better off starting
with getting lots of smaller tasks out of the way and fielding incoming issues,
then ramp up for the big challenges through the morning and maybe do those
right after lunch.
12. Eliminate Distractions.
Turn off devices, if necessary, limit email correspondence, if you find
it’s cutting too much into your productivity. Eliminate other distractions.
Think about what conditions seem to help you stay on track, and try to
set those up to help you manage your daily routine. See Entrepreneur magazine’s
great list of suggestions for eliminating distractions at work.
13. Give up Bad Habits.
Bad habits waste time. Being stuck on playing games, popping between
social sites, too much bar time, all take time you could use to do what you
really love, pursue your dreams. Turn off alerts for social posts during work
hours, limit the drinking time, and focus on getting what you want.
14. Do Daily Health & Fitness Activities.
Exercising every day leads to a better balanced life. Cut out toxic
activities, foods and drinks, and you’ll multiply your stamina and focus, which
enables better management of everything, including your time.
15. Decide What You Want to Accomplish,
Determine what you need to accomplish in a meeting before it starts.
You’ll save yourself and everyone in attendance from wasting valuable time, by
being able to zero in on your goals for the meeting.
16. Get a Good Mentor for Guidance.
Rely on someone who has done and seen it all. Having someone to ask for
advice and perspective can make it easier to keep yourself on track, keep your
priorities in order, and manage your time wisely.
17. Take Mini Breaks Between Some Tasks.
The human brain has the capacity to focus efficiently for around an hour
and a half without compromised quality of concentration. So, break for a few
minutes every 90 minutes or so, to maximise your total productivity over the
course of the day.
18. Make Good Use of Wait Time.
We all get stuck on hold, waiting in lines at airports, sitting in
waiting rooms, hovering to talk to a decision-maker, and so on. You may have
wished you could have all that time back. You can! Use it to return phone
calls, answer emails with your phone, stretch, do isometric exercises,
meditate, read reports or articles on your phone, catch up on news, listen to
19. Organise Your Email Files.
Waste less time in email by archiving, creating action labels, applying
filters to auto-assign labels to incoming emails based on keywords or sender
20. Expand Your Mind.
Spend some time doing things outside your comfort zone. This is an
essential practice embraced by most great leaders. It stimulates creativity,
builds confidence, and expands perspective, all conducive to more
creative time management and life skills.
21. Get Good Sleep.
Get sufficient sleep. Correct issues in your sleep environment to create
a space that is conducive to sleeping well. Working without sufficient amounts
and quality of sleep naturally negatively impacts productivity and quality over
time and leads to burn out.
22. Schedule Down Time.
Remove yourself from fast-paced engagement, and use quiet time to
support your creative processes. Find a serene place to close your eyes and
meditate, or just to sit and reflect and generate insights.
23. Know When to Say No.
Time is a limited commodity. Don’t spend any of it on activities that
don’t make sense for your mission. Learn to say, “I’ll check my calendar and
let you know.” That will give you time to decide what to fit in.
24. Don’t be Oppressed by Your Phone.
If you are in a position to let your phone ring and go to voicemail,
then do so when necessary. Don’t feel compelled to take every call and answer
every email instantly. Turn off ringers and email alerts, if necessary.
25. Enjoy Your Life.
Forget obsessing about what’s not getting
done each day. Just, stick with it, work at a steady pace, and insist on
balance between work and personal time. Remember the sage old advice, “It’s
about the journey…”
26. Delegate and Outsource.
Train others as necessary, and assign tasks that don’t require your
personal involvement to get done well. Lightening your workload by delegating frees you to focus on more appropriate
uses of your time.
27. Remember the 80-20 Principle.
The famed Pareto Principle, a.k.a. the “80-20 Rule” asserts that 80
percent of the results of your efforts comes from just 20 percent of your actions.
Applying this principle, at least in some ratio, if not necessarily 80/20, you
can probably eliminate a number of tasks from your list and be as, or more productive.
28. Maintain Your Calendar Online.
Having your calendar online affords you the unmatched flexibility to
access it from any networked device, update it, share it, etc. This lets you
avoid the time-consuming inconvenience of having to postpone scheduling until
you can access your calendar later, then more spend time to follow-up with people
to pin down dates and times.
29. Do Some Telecommuting.
We all feel the crush of time being lost during long commutes in
traffic. If possible, consider telecommuting once or twice a week, to gain back
many hours per year to add to your productivity.
30. Consume Inspiring Materials.
When you need a lift, listen to an inspiring seminar recording on
YouTube. It can help you get pumped up for the next round of demands on your
time and focus, during a fatiguing series of challenges.
31. Handle Like Tasks Together.
Schedule a block of time to handle emails, phone calls, approving
batchable documents, reviewing reports, and other tasks that are similar. Task
types require special ways of thinking. Reduce the collective time and energy
it takes for your brain to keep readjusting .
32. Think Quality Over Quantity.
Don’t spread yourself too thin. Determine what really needs to be done,
and concentrate only on the things that need your personal attention. Then, you
can better focus on creative solutions and quality.
33. Develop Self-Control.
Work on your willpower. Feeling your sense of greater power over your
own will can significantly improve your time management, overall professional
performance, health and wellbeing, stress level, quality of life, and
happiness. For example, turn off your phone, if you can’t stop checking social
34. Save Copies of Your To Do Lists.
At the end of the week, revisit your spent To Do Lists, to appreciate
your accomplishments, and take a little self-motivation from all you did to advance
your mission. Congratulate yourself. Celebrate a little.
35: Practice Until You Build Good Habits.
Start using the time management tips above that pertain to your own
leadership development needs. Keep practicing these, until you habituate them.
Form a routine, a time management system, that you like and can maintain.
META+COACH and habit modification
Repetitive behavioural patterns cut their routes into the brain’s neural pathways. Fortunately, through repeating different behaviours, new habits can be formed. With commitment, even long-time habits can be replaced by better ones.
Improving time management skills is an ideal goal for undertaking with this rehabituation approach in mind. Decide on some simple but major changes you want to make in your way of managing your time, and commit to repeating your new time management behaviour until doing it the new way comes naturally to you. One-on-one leadership coaching may be your best available approach to habituating better time management habits.
Even the best leaders put things off sometimes, but chronic
procrastination is a deeper problem that is likely to reflect self-control
issues. Some procrastinators argue that they perform best when under pressure,
but research indicates that that is typically false. Decisional procrastinators
have difficulty making decisions. Perfectionists may delay facing the
inevitable lack of perfection in their finished work. Thrill-seekers may
squeeze themselves into a tight timeline, to experience an adrenaline rush.
Classic avoiders may put off work, in fear of failure or fear of inability to
sustain success that they might achieve.
Understanding why people procrastinate, have self-control issues, or
motivation issues is the first step to improving your time management if you
are struggling with leadership decision-making, or any of these issues leading to
Ultimately, time management comes down to being clear on what you
really want to
accomplish. Really wanting it
is the natural generator of motivation. From there, it’s about weighing your
priorities, to ensure that the way you spend your time is going to get you to
your goal. That means eliminating non-priorities that are sucking time from
your limited supply of it. Ask yourself which items on your To Do list
can make a meaningful difference for you, which can’t be delegated, which can
wait, and which should really be discarded.
Be careful about what you commit to, and prioritise honouring the
commitments you do make. Keeping your promises protects your relationships and
your reputation, both of which are indispensable for a successful career and a
rewarding life that you can thoroughly enjoy.
Practice finding what’s positive in every negative circumstance. Train
yourself to look past obstacles to find solutions. Above all, stay focused on
your goals. Keep thinking about them and talking about them. Visualise yourself
accomplishing what you’ve set out to achieve. These are the ways of a driven
individual. They’re conducive to a mindset that cuts through irrelevancies and
stays fixed on what’s important, and sees the way to get it done, and does it.