Last week we covered the first three steps in prioritizing your time management. We’ll continue this week with the final three steps. Click here to catch up on part 1.
Take advantage of the first fifteen minutes of each day. Use that time to plan out your entire day. Do not look at email or answer your phone until you have that plan completed. Also, keep your workspace clean and organized. Research from Princeton says that task-irrelevant objects can overwhelm the visual cortex, making it harder to focus on and complete tasks efficiently.
Update your filing system. Do you have that one piece of paper that you’ve looked at 100 times and have not yet done anything with it? There is a system called TRAF that helps you declutter:
• Trash – Throw it away (or shred it if it has sensitive information)
• Refer – Give it to someone else to work on
• Action – Put it on your to do list to do something with it
• File – Put it away for later use.
No. It is a word many of us struggle using. Louie Giglio says, “Whenever you say yes to anything, there is less of you for something else. Make sure your yes is worth the less.” Saying no can be difficult because often we don’t want to disappoint or let someone down. However, by not taking on more than you can handle, you earn the respect of others and your “no” will mean “if I can’t do it effectively for you, then right now is not the time for me to do it.”
Set aside windows of time for e-mails. Today, every notification or e-mail can feel urgent. However, many of the things that feel urgent are not important. Set expectations with your teams. If someone needs something urgently, make sure it is marked High Priority. Or have them call you or stop by your office.
Often, many of us are doing things that we don’t need to be doing because there may be someone else equally or more capable to do the job than we are. At first it may feel like dumping responsibility on others, but it isn’t. Giving responsibility to other is one of the most effective ways to show others that you trust them.
Remember these four steps to delegating:
• Informed Progress
• Informed Results
Make sure you are getting the right amount of sleep. We live in a 24-hour culture and many people cheat themselves on sleep and pay the price. A recent article from Medical News Today says that “over $100 billion is lost productivity, medical expenses, sick leave and property damage” stems from sleep deprivation.
Make time to exercise regularly. Regular exercise improves our mood and our blood sugar levels, which directly affect our amount of energy. I may seem counter-intuitive, but exercise gives more energy than it takes from us.
Many people are tired as well because food has become more about convenience than about energy. Planning meals eliminates the guesswork and ensures we’re eating things that fuel us.
Working through these six steps will help get you on track to feel accomplishments every day, rather than constantly feeling you are falling behind.
Any tips we missed? Comment below on how you best manage your time.