Submitted By: Olivia Bass, Talent Program Specialist
With so much to do and so little time to do it, juggling all of your responsibilities can be a daunting feat. But there are a few things you can do to help! Here are my top 5 tips for managing your time and #GSD!
This is the most important step when it comes to effective time management! Start by making a list of everything that you need to get done. Then, take that list and sort it by importance. You want to make sure that the things you are doing are contributing to your overall goals for the week, month, or even year! When prioritizing your list, here are a few examples of questions to ask yourself to determine what is most important:
- Which task(s) have the closest deadlines?
- Which task(s) will take the longest/shortest time to complete?
- Which task(s) will require the most/least amount of effort or brain power to complete?
Knowing WHAT you need to get done is great, but having a plan of exactly WHEN you will get it done will ensure that no task is left behind! Once you have your priority list down, use it to plan your day and/or week. Schedule a specific date and time to work on each action item based on the due date, level of urgency, etc. Schedule time to follow up on the tasks you know will require additional action. Sometimes it’s not enough to simply schedule a task, get it done, and just move on. It’s all about having the forethought to know what needs to be done now, as well as understanding and preparing for what comes next. And remember: no task is too small to schedule! Adding those routine housekeeping items to your to-do list or calendar ensures that you don’t miss a beat, even on the simplest tasks!
Set Reminders for Future Tasks
So now you may be asking: what about those action items that aren’t a priority? The assignments that you know you will need to do at some point, but don’t need to worry about right now? It all goes back to planning ahead! Make sure that you still make a plan for them and set that specific time to work on it. Even if it is something that is months down the line, you want to be certain that it doesn’t get lost in the shuffle of your more immediate responsibilities. My motto: Set it and forget it! Knowing that you have a plan for those tasks that aren’t as urgent at the moment will free up the space in your brain to move on to other things and focus on the tasks at hand!
So most of the advice here tells you to eliminate distractions. But let’s be realistic, that’s not going to happen. It’s not about avoiding distractions; it’s about how you handle them when they arise. This point takes me back to prioritizing: when someone comes to you with a new assignment, an impromptu meeting, or whatever it may be, take the time as soon as you can to determine its priority level and how it fits into your current plan. Don’t allow the distraction to completely derail you. Reschedule the task that you were interrupted doing as soon as possible after getting word of the schedule change. Adjust other tasks planned for later in the day or week as needed to ensure that you keep on course with your original plan, while incorporating the new priority.
Take a Break
All of the above suggestions are all well and good, but worth nothing if you don’t actually do what you planned to do. You have to stay on task! If you have time set aside to work on something, make sure that is what you are doing at that time. What I find that helps with this is including breaks in your schedule! Don’t overbook yourself with things to do. Making time for a break can help you to avoid the burnout that may cause you to push off tasks altogether. Allow yourself to step away so that you can make sure you are refreshed enough to actually do what you planned.
And there you have it! Begin implementing these easy changes to start seeing a big difference in your day. Managing your time effectively is the key to sticking to your goals and accomplishing them. Time is delicate and hopefully these tips will help you manage it with care!