In today’s fast-paced digital world, we’re constantly struggling to get everything done. We’re always trying to get more done, wishing there were more hours in the day. Nope. There aren’t 36 hours in the day. And the Time Travel machine has still not been invented.
But the good news is, there are a few practical hacks you can use to get more done in your day and increase your and your team’s productivity.
1. Do it, Defer it, Delegate it or Dump it
( There’s 4 D’s there already!)
This age old principle is time – tested. Whenever you open an email or WhatsApp message or pick up a physical document or letter, make a decision. Decide whether to handle it straight away (Do it ). Or handle it at a later time – but schedule when (Defer it) ,or delegate it to one of your team (Delegate it) or decide no action is required (Dump it).
This one technique, also known as “single-handling” will save you at least 15-30 minutes a day.
2. Dare to Decide
To practice the above “Do it, Defer it, Delegate it or Dump it” principle, you have to make a quick decisions. It takes a bit of practice but after a while it’ll become second-nature. Just get started on adopting this principle – just make a decision. If you don’t feel comfortable with your decision to Do it or Defer it for example, you can always change your mind or learn from it afterwards… “next time, on matters like this, I’ll defer it.” Or vice – versa.
By exercising a decision, your “decision-making muscle” becomes stronger and you become more confident.
Motivate yourself to build this habit by focusing on the reward of saving 15-30 minutes or more each day.
3. Diarize Daily
This is another great habit to develop. Plan your daily diary or schedule the evening before. You should have already planned your entire week in advance, but now as you approach a new day, it’s good to review that original plan scheduled perhaps a week ago, and put in more detail.
But planning the next day the evening before, you get off to a great start every day. You’re clear what exactly your day will look like, what the priorities are for the day and how you will start your day. There’s little room for ambiguity or pondering and wondering what to do next in the next hour.
The other benefit of scheduling or planning your day the evening before is you also get to review your current day. What went well, what results did you achieve and what can you do better the next day?
Yes, at the end of the day, time management is about self-management. It’s really about self discipline. Scheduling your day with tasks and activities is one thing. But keeping to your schedule and working on the pre-scheduled priorities takes discipline. It’s often easy to lose focus, get distracted or wonder off-course doing something else, something that’s perhaps easier or more fun ……. like checking WhatsApp messages or having a coffee with someone who just popped by !
It’s easy to keep appointments with others, but it often requires a lot of discipline to keep appointments with ourselves – to do the necessary and important things that we must do, whether we like it or not. Like planning, strategizing and reviewing.
And, sometimes, we need an external party to help us stay on track. That could be your PA, your wife or perhaps a business coach. In any case, if you practice this 4 D’s of great time management your performance will soar.
We have a special coaching programme to help you and your team get a hold of your time, productivity and performance. Call us for a no-obligation free consult or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about how to stop Procrastination – the Thief of Time!