Our time is precious. We can make the most of our time by getting organised and having effective tools and systems in place. Effective time management and prioritisation allow us to:
- Determine what work should be done and in what priority…. lining up liquorice allsorts in a row? Is this an essential task? Probably Not. But does it look pretty? Of course!
- Get through tasks more quickly.
- Free up time to spend on the important things in life.
At the start of your working week, determine when you have meetings and assess when you have free time. Protect the free time you need to tackle the tasks on your to-do list. Block it out in your diary, write it down on a piece of paper, make a mental note – whatever works for you.
- If you have lots of tasks in your head, get them down onto paper, into list form. Don’t prioritise them yet, just jot down any tasks in your head.
- Once you have captured everything you need to do. Determine priority tasks by marking them with the number 1.
- Then mark other tasks with a 2 or 3 (3 being the least urgent).
- The key is to start with any tasks labelled with a 1, then 2, then 3. Ticking off the tasks once complete can help you visually see the progress being made.
Click on the picture below to see an example of how you could manage a to-do list:
If your tasks are of equal priority, on paper map out the time slots you have available across the week. Within these time slots, allocate time for each task. Click on the picture below to see an example of how to prioritise work across a working week.
Not sure where your time goes?
If you’re not sure where your time goes during the week or month, think about recording each task using a timer system for a set period of time. Using a system like ‘Toggl’ helps you set up categories and time each activity you work on. It may take some getting used to but set up correctly, it’s just the click of a finger and remembering to click before and after each task.
This can be an invaluable tool in assessing where you time goes. Once you have this information, you can determine how to improve your time management.
Questions to Consider when analysing your data:
- Do you spend too much time on a particular activity? How could this be shortened?
- Could anything you do be outsourced?
- Could tasks be stopped?
- Could you prioritise / organised your time better?
- Do to-do lists work for you? If not, could you use a different technique, an organisational system like Trello (free to use) enables you to visualise tasks on different boards. This can work well if you are a visual person.
Putting strategies in place to improve time management and organisation should enable you to work through tasks more quickly. It should free your mind to focus on the task at hand instead of thinking about whether you should be completing another task. You can remain focused because YOU HAVE A PLAN. Getting through work more quickly frees up time to spend on the things that are important to you.
The beauty of all strategies above is that they can be applied to business or personal life.
Coming soon, our next topic ‘Successfully Organising Paperwork’.
If you feel inspired to Get Organised but not sure where to begin, get in touch with Virtual Business Support Services. We offer ‘Getting Organised’ packages that start from £50. We can also pick up the tasks that you don’t have to.
We offer a free one hour no obligation consultation so you have nothing to lose.