Haven’t we all learned about time management? I know my book shelves are filled with books looking for the next best thing for managing the time we are given. One of my favorites is Dave Allen’s Getting Things Done. Too often, Time Management is making lists, getting prioritized, putting the big rocks in first, using some contact management software, on and on and on. The one thing most of us forget is our human brains want to play each and every day. The brain thrives and grows with new information for example: people who drive a different way to work each day are more productive! The following list is a way to think about you and your grey matter between your eyes.
GET MOVING. Yes, if you want each day to be better, start by moving in the AM. This could be a walk around the block, stretching before your shower, or Yoga before breakfast. Research has shown that even 10 minutes will get more oxygen to your brain!
KNOW YOUR PERSONAL CLOCK. Our internal clock 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, plan accordingly. 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. Au contraire. Start your day with a task you enjoy first. That joy will easily follow to the next project or meeting and help you get more completed and be more fun to be around!
RENAME THE UGLIES. In our business life there will always be tasks we don’t want to do. On those tasks, ask yourself: Can I outsource it? I’m I the best person to do this? Is this part of my responsibility? If it is your responsibility, approach it as if you really want to do them and it will get done. Remember: diapering a baby can be a pretty ugly task sometimes, but a sweet smelling child is a joy to hold, especially if you are the Granny!
SLOW DOWN. Stop rushing around! If you can remember how long the last similar project took, build in some extra time to be disturbed and distracted. Intense thinking projects or manual projects really do require breaks. Slowing down and deliberately planning a project will lead to fewer errors, happier staff and a saner you.
FIND AND USE HEALTHY DISTRACTIONS: When you are feeling sluggish, can’t finish the task or are getting really heavy eyelids, it is time for a break. Taking a walk out in the summer sun or rain; crunching on 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, our brains hear us and checks out or demands food! Making the healthy choice to step back, relax and revive can mean a huge difference in meeting your deadline.
CELEBRATE! Last on my list is don’t forget to celebrate your successes!