The bad news about time management is we all have the same 24 hours to manage, and we can’t create more for ourselves. The good news is, there are ways to make the 24 hours we have more than enough!
I was recently asked by a young millennial for some ideas around managing his time more efficiently. He was at a loss because he kept putting out daily fires instead of working on long term projects. In addition, he definitely didn’t want work to start taking over his life and free time.
After several questions and exploration into his own ideas of what good time management looked like, we quickly came up on two ideas that would help him immensely:
1.Setting Boundaries For Successful Time Management
He needed to set some boundaries around work. As is typical with young new hires, he was anxious to please and said no to no one. Thus, his workload escalated and caused him to continuously push back deadlines. We talked through what boundaries he would set, and the conversations he would need to have in order to enforce them.
Typically people will ask you to help out until you indicate that you can’t. They may have no idea about your workload or priorities. Setting a boundary in this area means letting people know you are at your capacity, or asking them to help you prioritize what should be done first.
2.Daily Prioritization For Successful Time Management
Most of us get overwhelmed when we have a full plate and don’t know where to start. My client was no exception here. We explored the different elements of prioritization: Importance and Urgency, and decided to utilize a template I’ve used for years.
First: Make a list of all of your tasks and projects. Don’t worry about timelines or size, just make a list of everything you have to get done.
Second: Review all of them and give them a score between 1-5 for both Urgency and Importance. Highest urgency or importance receives a ranking of 1, while the lowest receives a ranking of 5. Once you put in all of your tasks/projects for the week with their corresponding rankings, you select those with a 1 Urgency and a 1 Importance to tackle first.
Once you’ve completed what you can on your highest priority tasks, you look for combinations of a 2 and a 1, etc. This is a very quick way to get you jump started and on track to delivering on the most important items in your list.
I hope you find this helpful on your days of overwhelm.