Read this article to learn how to manage your time like the boss babe that you are.
Tara was always tired and stressed. She was finding it difficult to manage her time at work. Her customers always said everything was urgent.
Tara felt that she had to find a way to deliver for them. That often meant working long hours in order to satisfy them.
Tara knew working longer hours everyday and on weekends wasn’t sustainable.
In Tara’s last meeting with her manager, she told her that she needed to learn how to manage her time.
Tara took the feedback her manager gave her very seriously. She went to her favourite website – The World in her Words to see if there was any advice on how to manage her time.
Luckily, there was.
Knowing how to manage your time is one of the most valuable skills you need at work and in life generally.
If you know how to manage your time, it can lead to improved productivity, better results and a good work/life balance.
If you don’t manage your time efficiently, you could end up like Tara – tired and stressed all the time which could affect your productivity and creativity negatively.
Stress is also known to sometimes bring health problems. Yikes!
So how do you manage your time effectively to produce bad gyal results?
First, Understand What Your Priorities Are
Understanding what your priorities are is the most important part of time management. You need to know what is required of you, what is urgent and what can wait.
We prioritise all the time in our lives daily because we make decisions everyday about what’s urgent and what can wait.
Scenario: It’s Saturday and you’re going out with your girls for brunch. You need to clean your room and there’s a film on Netflix you want to watch. Your nails are a mess and you don’t have an outfit ready for brunch.
You decide to clean your room on Sunday and watch the film if you have time later. Your priority is fixing your nails and getting an outfit for brunch so you can look cute af.
That is prioritisation. Here are some steps you can take to understand what your priorities are at work.
Make A List
Start with making a list of all the tasks you are expected to complete. If you are working on any projects, make sure you list the tasks for those too.
Group The Tasks
Look up the Eisenhower Matrix also known as the Urgent-Important Matrix to help you decide which tasks are Urgent and Important and the ones that are less urgent.
Group them into the four different types covered in the matrix.
Schedule some time with your manager to align on how you’ve grouped the tasks. You can use this an opportunity to get some guidance on how to respond to requests that are not urgent or important.
If you have colleagues doing the same role, speak to them too to understand how they prioritise their tasks.
Apply the feedback you’ve received from your manager and your colleagues and group the tasks again into the different boxes in the matrix.
Now you understand your priorities!
Understanding your priorities is only the first step in learning how to manage your time.
Once you know your priorities, the next step is to have a plan for how you will manage expectations with your stakeholders.
How will you respond when someone asks you to drop everything to do something that’s not urgent?
This is the first step in learning how to manage your time. In the next story, I will cover how to manage expectations with people and why it is an important part of time management.
How do you decide what your priorities are? Do you have a process you follow? Share it in the comments or tweet at me.
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