Time Management Is Surprisingly Easy

Time Management Is Surprisingly Easy

If life would be like “The Sims” I would’ve just gained one of those precious skill points that you get when you practice or learn something. I just completed some Time Management Courses on Lynda.com which took me about 6 hours in total.

It is a fact that many people are stressed when they have an increasing workload. So, what you often hear is “I did not have time for that”.
This is totally …

Trump Wrong
Even Trump thinks your Time Management is crappy

Therefore, I’d like to share some thoughts and ideas which helped me immediately to have a better Time Management. Some of them may seem obvious to you but applying them properly will help you to get things done and be more efficient with your time.

Think in Budgets

Your week has 168 hours in total to spend on sleeping, exercising, working and more. Be greedy with your time, make it precious and extremely valuable. It’s all you have and you should protect it.
This leads to a bunch of principles for good Time Management:

  • Say “No”
  • Don’t let anybody interrupt you unless it’s urgent as hell
  • Protect time slots where you do your most valuable activity
  • Delegate a lot

These first ideas will make you overthink the value of your time and you will be more protective about it.

Use the Tools right

Instead of having fifteen Time Management apps on your smartphone you could start with a proper use of your mail client, your calendar and a to do list (like Wunderlist). Eliminating other tools is a big step towards a better Time Management.

What helped me a lot is to really use my calendar properly. Every action that takes me more than fifteen minutes has an entry in my calendar. It helps me to stay committed and I have an overview of my time budget.

Stop Multitasking!

After this course I get angry when people tell me “Go ahead. I can multitask.”. No! No one can really multi task. We’re all humans and we’re horribly bad at doing two things simultaneously that require our mental attention. I have seen people doing code reviews while checking their mails. Stop doing that! It doesn’t work! We’re basically too dumb for it!

What most of the people actually do is called switchtasking. It means rather than doing two things at once they keep switching between them and thus interrupt themselves. The costs of interrupting a task are huge. Instead, it is way more efficient to start a task and finish it without doing anything else.

The only exception is called backgroundtasking which means that you have a task in the background which doesn’t require your attention anymore. This is extremely efficient and you should try to do it wherever it’s possible!

Set up Gathering Points

Instead of having your tasks and action items spread across five mail accounts, six telephone number and ten calendars you should have very few gathering points:

  • one mail inbox
  • one voicemail inbox
  • one physical inbox (can be a box on your desk)
  • one portable inbox
  • one notepad (digital/pyhiscal)

These points contain information that needs to be processed. All your ideas and thoughts will be stored here and you have a schedule to take care of these gathering points.

Processing

We all do processing. It is the action of deciding what the next steps are, when to do something and where its home is. It is the key for good Time Management if you do it right. You should start to schedule time for processing and then work on the open points in your different inboxes.

Doing this will bring structure and continuity in your work. After the course I started processing on a regular base and it really helps me to get things done.

Conclusion

I really recommend everyone to get some education in terms of Time Management. You will see that there are some simple principles which grant a huge boost in productivity. What really worked best for me was the use of my calendar and the use of inboxes where I drop ideas and action items in. I have a time every day where I process all the items. I believe everybody can be good at Time Management it just requires practice.

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