Is it Time Management, or Activity and Energy Management?
This months guest blog was brought to you by Angela Goodeve, Life Coach and Entrepreneur. You can learn more about Angela at http://www.lifecoachingwithang.com, or visit her blog at: http://www.lifeadvicethecoachingway.blogspot.ca
Are you currently trying to improve your time management skills? The term time management is a bit of misnomer as it is not actually possible to manage time, a static entity. It is, however possible to manage activities! Therefore one thing you need to do for effective time management is to stop thinking about it as Time Management, and start thinking about how you can arrange your activities throughout the day in order to increase effectiveness, efficiency and/or productivity. Now that sounds more plausible, doesn’t it?
There are a number of ways you can do this, and in fact if you do a search for time management on Google, you will find 217 million results! This tells us that time management is a problem that many people are experiencing, and a problem that many people have tried to solve, so you are definitely not alone!
So, how do you chose the method that is right for you, and which one works the best?
As a Life Coach, there is one thing I know for sure, and that is that the first thing you need to do is to get really clear about your Life Purpose, your values, and what you really want in life. Once you are clear on these all of the things that people tell you to do to help “manage your time” will be much easier to implement in a meaningful way.
How are you supposed to prioritize something if you do not know what goal you are trying to achieve?;
How can you feel motivated and productive if your activities are not in line with your values?; and
How are you to know what steps to take if you are not even sure the activity is in line with the real you?
…and who said that using a cookie cutter approach to a very individual, dynamic problem would work for everybody?
Secondly, you need to ensure you eliminate any energy drains from your environment such as unmet needs; outside distractions; and trying to do ten things at once!
How can you focus on the task at hand if you are running on an empty tank of drained energy, either physically, mentally, or emotionally?;
How can you concentrate on what you are doing if you are constantly being interrupted by phone calls, unexpected visitors, and e-mail “pings”?; and
How in the world can you accomplish anything when your energy in the moment is spread between multiple tasks?!?
There is no doubt that you will also find it easier to manage the activities of life if you ask yourself how important each particular task is at any given moment, and start with the most urgent task; take some time to organize your activities and “to do list” in a daily calendar or agenda; and/or ensure your physical environment is efficient and organized so that you don’t waste your time looking for things that could otherwise be readily available.
Other useful tips include:
Learn the art of saying “No” when you know that taking on another task will press your time;
Set aside some time for planning and scheduling to ensure that your high priority items are completed, and that nothing important is left undone;
Schedule some time in your schedule to account for the unexpected, and to take regular breaks;
Whenever possible, delegate!;
Don’t get stressed out by a list of unimportant tasks; and
Make sure that you mark off your tasks as you complete them to emphasize what you have accomplished!
Above all though, remember to increase your energy and motivation by focusing on what is really important to your in terms of your values, life purpose, and goals; make sure you are running on a full tank of energy by taking care of physical, emotional, and mental needs; minimize interruptions and other distractions that keep you focused on the task at hand; and ensure your environment and activities are organized so that you are more effective, efficient, and productive throughout your day!
This article was written Angela Goodeve, Life Coach and Entrepreneur. You can learn more about Angela at http://www.lifecoachingwithang.com, or visit her blog at: http://www.lifeadvicethecoachingway.blogspot.ca
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