When we have a goal in mind; know what we want the outcome to be; have broken the project down to its many tasks; we are ready to finish with flair. . . or are we? Even the best project, best plan can get slowed by life. Time management often means staying motivated beyond knowing what the end will look like. To finish with flair, try these tips:
- Get Moving: Yes, if you want each day this week to be better, start by moving in the AM. This could be a walk around the block, stretching before your shower, Yoga before breakfast, or a 60-minute power workout (ugh is what I say to that last one). Research has shown that even 10 minutes will get more oxygen to your brain! Be a better manager of everything – move the body – feed the brain!
- Know Your Personal Clock: We all have an internal clock that lets us know when we think best, work best, relate best and handle the mundane best. If you are a morning person for verbal activities, schedule your networking then. If you are an afternoon thinker, make sure you allow yourself the time to do that. Even though you can’t adjust everyone to fit your schedule, knowing our peak times means we will become mindful of our best time to do our best work!
- Start with Something Fun: Most time management philosophers suggest that we do the task we like least first. Well, slackers like me will tell you that we can stall forever if we have to start with the “least fun” project. I know from experience that I will feel great when that task is done, but I’d rather feel accomplished sooner.
- Rename the Uglies: In our business life there will always be tasks we don’t want to do. You chose your business or job because of all the wonderful things you like about it. So look at the tasks you dislike and ask yourself: Can I outsource it? Am I the best person to do this? Is this part of my responsibility? Try looking at the least favorite chores as part of the whole and take joy in finishing even the most odious task. If you approach each chore as if you really want to do them, they will be over before you know it.
- Slow Down: Stop rushing around! There are two major causes to rushing around – distractions caused by you (think watching YouTube) or caused by others (your partner has to ask you one more time how to complete the request for proposal). If you can remember how long the last similar project took, build in some extra time to be disturbed. Some intense thinking projects or manual projects really require a break. Slowing down and deliberately planning a project will lead to fewer errors, happier staff and a saner you.
- Find Healthy Distractions: The apple break has always been a favorite of mine. When you are feeling sluggish, can’t finish the task or just having really heavy eyelids, it is time for a break. Taking a walk in the summer sun or rain; crunching an apple or some carrots, even taking a lunch break away from your desk can be a wonderful time management tool. So often when we feel overworked or overwhelmed, our brains hear us and check out! Making a healthy choice to step back, relax and revive can mean a huge difference in meeting your deadline.
Work your fingers to the bone and what do you get? Boney Fingers. Getting a goal done on time sometimes means taking time to slow down and do it right. Keeping your perspective will serve you and your plan well.
Let us know what you do to finish with flair?