Happy 2016, people! Let’s jumpstart the new year with a fresh approach to our work days. Here’s a good little google quote for you—“The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot.” True story, you’re in charge of running your day. Now, before you can start to manage your time you’ve got to learn about time. The textbook definition of time reads “a point or period at which something occurs.” Basically, time is when stuff happens. So we’ve got two types of time—clock time and real time. Clock time: 60 seconds in a minute, 60 minutes in an hour, yada yada. We can’t compete with clock time. It is what it is. Real time: well, real time is all relative. It’s mental, it exists between the ears. We create it, and anything we create we can manage.
Boom! Congratulations! You’ve completed your lesson on time. Now let’s move on to time management. Here are a few tips to help you manage your time wisely:
- Take the first 30 minutes of everyday to plan your day. Don’t start your day until you’ve planned your day. You’ve got to schedule time to schedule time, people. That’s a fact.
- Visualize your workload. Go out and buy yourself a pretty planner or a manly calendar. Make notes of important deadlines (documentation deadlines, dates and times your reports are due, scheduled meetings, etc.) Plan ahead. Sometimes what you do is more important than how much you do. Know your priorities.
- While we’re scheduling and planning ahead—be prepared for interruptions. We’ve got to make time to be pulled away from what we are doing. Interruptions are inevitable.
- Block out unnecessary distractions. While I know it’s nice to take a break and scan your Instagram, Facebook news feed or Twitter accounts—don’t let it consume you. Either set yourself a little timer while you scan or wait until you’ve completed your work for the day. Don’t get sucked into the quick sand that is social media.
- Know your resources. Put your mentor/supervisor on speed dial (and by speed dial I mean put them under your “Favorites”—It just hit me that some of you youngsters may not know what speed dial is..oh man..time marches on.) Having your resources at your fingertips is a beautiful thing. Utilizing them will help you save some time.
- Learn to say no, folks. It’s a trade I’m still trying to master myself. It’s important to make some time for yourself. Leave your work at work. Make time to unplug. It’s very easy to agree to take on the world, but it’s not so easy to manage your time when you’ve put too much on your plate. Moderation, my friends, moderation!
- Friday afternoon. This is my least favorite tip. It is also, unfortunately, one of the greatest tips..Friday afternoon is one of the most wasted time frames. We’ve got to be wise and use it. We can use it to get caught up, or we can use it to get ahead for next week. I know, I know..but just do it.
- Reward yourself. If nothing else I’ve previously mentioned sticks—let this last little tip be the one you take with you. It’s impossible to get EVERYTHING done. Remember that! Set yourself some respectful goals, meet them, and then reward yourself.
Grab 2016 by the minute hand and run your day. Don’t let the day run you (another google quote inspiration, but a fact nonetheless). Plan your day to achieve your goals, and stick to your plan. It’s time to take charge of your time!