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Your Clear Next Step Blog

Your Clear Next Step Blog

3 Tools to Help Improve Your Time Management

When we sat down to think about our office goals for the new season, time management floated to the top of our list. We thought we might not be alone in this, so we wanted to offer 3 Tools to Help Improve Time Management.

1 - Prioritization Quick Filter

You will be most productive if you have a plan. Sometimes coming up with that plan can be tricky. Maybe you can relate to the feeling of sitting at your desk, feeling motivated to get started on something, only to feel paralyzed by where to start.

We have a tool to help. This tool forces you to think through the tasks at hand, one-by-one, and allows you to prioritize them, putting on the back burner the ones that can’t or shouldn’t be done right now, and getting started on all the others. 

 

· TIP: Break it down. Think about EVERYTHING on your plate. The small and medium tasks on your lists should fit into the filter fairly easily. The bigger projects, maybe not so much. So, break them down. Find all the smaller tasks within the big project, and send them through the filter. You will find there are lots of tasks within the project that you can complete right now putting you that much closer to the finish line.

 

2 - Pen and Paper

Once you have sent all your tasks through the filter, make sure they are written down! Ideally, tasks get written down before they go through the filter (even the tasks that don’t make it all the way through are still worth capturing somewhere), but make sure when you are ready to get to work you have everything captured. We love bullet journals and sticky notes. But even the scratch paper or a stray napkin can help. We love this old-fashioned method, but if you prefer a more virtual one, keep reading.

 

· TIP:Once you have your task prioritized and written down, complete the toughest one first. Some refer to this as “eating the frog first”. Completing the biggest, or toughest task first will ensure you have enough time for it, it will prevent you from procrastinating on it any longer, and it allows you to spend the rest of your day doing the things you actually enjoy, thus rewarding yourself for getting that frog off your plate.

 

3 - Virtual Organizers

These days there are tons of virtual time management tools to help set yourself up for success. Many of them can either replace your pen and paper, or supplement it, helping make you even more successful. With great features that allow you to share tasks with team members, these tools can help you delegate effectively as well. In our office we love Trello, Meister Task, and our trusty virtual calendars (like iCalendar and Google Calendar). Lots of these apps even have desk top and mobile versions, and Outlook integration.

 

· TIP: Schedule time for yourself. Often times our calendars are filled with appointments and meetings. But many of us don’t think to schedule time for ourselves. Protect your precious time, by scheduling time at your desk. Better yet, schedule the time you need to knock off each item on your list each day. We suggest blocking desk time on your calendar, and then filling it in later with the amount of time you will need for each task.

 

How do you manage your time? Let us know on social media!

 

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About the Author

Sinikka Waugh

Sinikka Waugh is a recognized leader in understanding people and in adapting tools, techniques, and processes to meet the demands of the situation at hand. Since 2006, Sinikka has provided compassionate leadership in transformation initiatives. When she isn’t in front of a class, she enjoys putting her background in English and French Literature to work, by writing blogs about the subjects she teaches every day.