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Take time to manage time!

Posted by admin on June 18, 2014

Top tips to free yourself from overload!

Tip no. 1 - Notice the signs of overload and stress
If you suffer from one or more of these, it's time to make some changes because all are signs that you are overloaded. If you aren't sure, ask a colleadgue or a friend how they see you.

  • Insomnia and fatigue
  • Frequent illnesses
  • Depressive moods
  • Anxiety
  • Namesh_and_Mark_discuss_what_is_important_and_what_is_not.JPGMemory problems
  • Changes in weight
  • Changes in consumption of food, alcohol or tobacco
  • Strained relationships.

Tip. no. 2 - Set personal goals
Personal goal setting is essential to managing your time well, because goals give you a destination and vision to work toward, and you will find that you manage your priorities, time and resources to get there without really thinking about it. So write them out, give yourself deadlines and 'first steps' to take. You'll feel much better!

Tip. no. 3 - Write your daily activity log 
Make a table for yourself with four columns - Activity, Time taken, Feelings, Value to me and list everything you do at work in a day. You will soon see what activities are valuable to you and which take up your time and make you feel stressed. Then make a plan to cut down on the activities that have little value but take up time.

Tip. no 4- Write your 'everything to do' list
That means everything - from asking for promotion, to finishing a major project, making a phone call to a client, booking a romantic dinner for you and your partner, addressing a conflict with a colleague or painting the garden shed.

Tip no. 5 - Prioritise the 'to do' list2._Sam_tries_to_concentrate_while_Jo_and_Bob_distract_him_photo_2-1.JPG
You've read about SO many times, but do you use it? - the Urgent/Important Matrix

Put all your 'to do' items under one of the following headings:

  • Urgent and important
  • Urgent and not important
  • Not urgent and important
  • Not urgent and not important

The boxes to take notice of are 'urgent and not important' - these often contain our long-term goals that will mean our satisfaction and happiness - and 'not urgent and not important'. Items here need to be curtailed if you want to feel good about yourself and your work at the end of the day.

Tip no. 6 - Manage distractions
Colleagues in a crisis, phone calls from clients, constant emails - these are just some of the daily distractons that can mean that at the end of the day your 'to do' list remains virtually untouched. In fact, it's probably longer than it was at the beginning of the day. Learn how to focus and concentrate and turn off your emails for at least part of the day. 

Tip no. 7 - Learn to say 'no'!
It's great to feel that your advice or support is wanted, but always being readily available to others may mean that you take on too much so that your own goals are neglected and you feel stressed. Say 'yes' to the person, but 'no' to the immediate request. For example,  "I'd love to help you. I can't give you the time now, but let me come back to you when I've finished this report. That will be after lunch/tomorrow/next week."

Tip no. 8- Stop procrastinating!Photo_1_Edwina_with_RMA.JPG
Sometimes procrastination is necessary as you may be waiting for crucial information before taking the next step. If you know you are just putting things off, however, try telling yourself that you will only work on a particular task for 10 minutes. It is the feeling that the job is going to be long and complicated that often stops us tackling it.  

Tip no. 9 - Multitasking - it may not work!
Research shows that contrary to popular belief, the ability to multitask does not necessarily make you more efficient. In fact it can take 20-40 per cent moer time to finish a list of jobs when you multitask and instead focus on one task at a time. You will produce higher quality work.

Tip no. 10 - What's your rhythm?
If you are an afternoon person, do not schedule important activities for the morning, and vice versa. We all have times when we feel more productive and focused and that's when to switch off distractions and get down to work.

Finally, ask Edwina to support you with a highly effective Time Management Team Coaching Workshop edwina.biucchi@impronta.co.uk

These photos were taken at a recent Time Management Team Coaching Workshop run by Edwina for RMA Architects (www.rmaarchitects.co.uk).