Last week we wrote about techniques to manage your calendar and schedule a little more effectively. This week we’ll be focusing on general time management skills. After all, what good is the most advanced calendar app in the world if you go ahead and schedule 2 hours for a task which should only take 15 minutes! And by best calendar app in the world I was humbly referring to Calendar.AI!
So here are four simple but effective time management techniques.
Set yourself time limits…and stick to them
It is often possible to get “lost” in a task. Something which should take 30 minutes ends up taking an hour. Sometimes which would take 20, takes 50. And before you know it, your entire day is off schedule and you can’t make all the meetings in your calendar. So before you block off time in your schedule for tasks, give yourself an honest estimate of how much time you should spend doing it, and then stick to it. Even if you aren’t finished, sometimes the most productive thing to do is to move onto something else and revert back to it at the end of the day after you’ve cleared your head.
Just say NO!
Your calendar schedule can be potentially monopolized by people who mean well but don’t have a holistic view of your tasks. They think taking 2 hours of your time is ok but they aren’t privy to the fact that the next day is your quarterly review meeting with the CEO! The only way they are going to find out, is if you tell them. Be polite but firm when you have to reject meetings which aren’t aligned with your objectives.
A mere 3 hours a week in unproductive meeting time translates to 144 hours a year in lost time. Wouldn’t you rather spend that time doing productive work or just enjoying some relaxation time!
And remember, with Calendar.AI’s smart scheduling you don’t have to worry about people suggesting irrelevant meeting time. You set your schedule and let them set the meetings based on your availability.
The world moves at breakneck speed today and distractions lurk around every corner. It can be tempting to work with your WhatsApp web open, your phone in front of you, or even your office door open. But for the most part these things don’t help with your productivity as they are tools of distraction. So do whatever you have to do to focus on the task in hand and complete it within the given time constraints.
One helpful suggestion is to put a reminder in about focusing for each calendar meeting so you’ll see it when it pops up. Eventually your schedule will be full of meetings which say FOCUS!
If you find yourself getting distracted, try and change setting if you can. Move into a small meeting room just for a change of scenery. Sometimes that’s all it takes to get you back on track.
Track your time
As if you were running a race, see how long it takes you to accomplish specific tasks. Generally you end up with one of two outcomes. Either your estimation was reasonable and on track, you were way off and didn’t estimate properly in either direction, in terms of taking way longer or shorter than expected. That way the next time this tasks rolls around. you can allocate the proper amount of time or consider if indeed it’s something worth spending such an enormous amount of time on.
Stay tuned for tomorrow’s part two on time management!