We all know the importance of time management when it comes to our productivity. With only a set amount of time each day to accomplish what we need to, it makes sense to use this time as wisely as possible.
So under the guise of being productive we fill up our days with a mountain of tasks, calls and meetings, scheduling as much into the time we have as possible. But this is where we make our first mistake.
We confuse being productive with being busy. We try to fit our unlimited list of tasks into our limited time and wonder why we end up feeling stressed, overwhelmed and exhausted.
If we want to be truly productive it is not our time that we should be managing so closely, it is our tasks. When we manage our tasks well, we automatically manage our time well too.
So here are four tips to help you achieve better task management and better time management as a result.
1. Set aside time for you first
To be more productive and manage your tasks better you need to first schedule in time away from work. Not only will this help you to be more focused, it will help you to prioritise your tasks easier.
When you take a step out of your business you gain a new perspective and can see the difference between what really is urgent and important, and what only appears urgent and important.
Taking time out will also guard against overwhelm and burnout which can also negatively affect your productivity.
2. Prioritise your tasks
Identify what tasks will make the most difference to your day and prioritise them accordingly.
Your first priority should always be the work that will have consequences if you don’t finish it today, closely followed by work that will generate you short-term income. Once these tasks are completed, then move on to the ordinary everyday tasks that keep your business running as usual and the business development tasks that will help you continue your business growth.
3. Put a time limit and deadline on each task
We put a timeline on goals, so why not on tasks too? Every task on you to-do list should have a due date and the maximum time limit you want to spend on it that day.
This is particularly important for open ended tasks like email, social media management and follow up that have the potential to drain more of your time and take you away from other important tasks you need to complete.
4. Evaluate your tasks regularly
Before each of your work breaks quickly evaluate your task list and progress.
Do you need to make any changes to your list now based on new information like a new lead or change of deadline? Are the tasks you’re doing and yet to do really a priority or do they only appear to be?
Based on your evaluation, delegate or outsource tasks that are not a profitable or productive use of your time and rearrange your list to reflect your new priorities. Continue to keep yourself accountable to ensure your time is going towards the most important tasks.
What are your tips for better task management?