Time Management

Pertrain Pen has been having some time management issues. We have been very busy – and that’s great. But it means non-essential things like blogs and newsletters are put to one side – and that’s bad.

Surely through careful time management we can find time to do ALL the things we want to do. So we googled “Time Management” for some tips and ideas.  Over 491,000,000 results popped up in 0.44 seconds. Here are our top ten tips:
  1. Use an appointment book to schedule appointments with yourself and create time blocks for high-priority thoughts and actions. Have the discipline to keep these appointments.
  2. Take the first 15 to 30 minutes of every day to plan your day and don’t start your day until you complete your time plan. OR make a ‘To Do’ list of what you want to achieve and what you have on the next day every afternoon / evening before you leave work.
  3. One hour of concentrated work is worth four hours work with interruptions. Put up a “Do not disturb” sign when you absolutely have to get work done. Work in a separate room and have someone else answer the phone and take messages for you.
  4. Block out other distractions like Facebook and other forms of social media unless you use these tools to generate business.
  5. Declutter your desk – a cluttered desk immediately makes you feel ‘snowed under’ and you spend longer finding things you need.
  6. Make sure that your work area is well organised with materials and equipment that you use often close to you, good lighting and an ergonomic chair.
  7. Sort paper work into ‘Action’, ‘Information’, ‘Reading’ and ‘Waste Paper’. If it can be dealt with quickly and simply do it straight away. Try to handle paper once only.
  8. Learn to say NO. Effectiveness at work depends as much on knowing what not to do as what to do. Do not to over-commit yourself. If you are asked to do a piece of work and you know that you will not be able to meet the deadline, say no.
  9. We all have a best time of the day that is when we do our best work. Work out when your best time is (early morning, just after lunch, late at night) and use that time to tackle your most challenging tasks.
  10. Cluster activities. Plan your day so that you do similar activities at the same time. For instance, carve out blocks of time to return phone calls and e-mails, administrative tasks, research, etc.
Of course it is important to remember that sometimes you just can’t do it all on your own. If you are overloaded, ask your team to help or talk to your boss to work out some alternative priorities.   Good luck.  We’ll let you know how we go with implementing some of these ideas.  Watch this spot…. Sources:
  1. Mathews, J Debolt, D Percival D, How to manage time with 10 tips that work
  2. Kelly Services, 2015, Effective time management
  3. 7 Best Tips to Improve Your Time Management Skills