Friday, 7 February 2014

Time Management

I’m one of those people who would rather arrive at an appointment an hour early and sit in the car park than be five minutes late.

Sounds extreme and I certainly have got very familiar with certain car parks over the years. However, it’s indicative of how I manage my time. Yet, for others, they are chronically late and it doesn't seem to bother them at all.

Is the world divided between those who manage their time well and those who don’t?

Probably not quite so black and white, and yet if you don’t manage your time well it affects more than just yourself. Bad time management has ripples that impact on projects, colleagues, customers and of course how you are perceived by employers, friends, family and even how you perceive yourself.

Impact Factory has been running more Time Management courses than ever before and feedback from those who book is that since the beginning of the recession people are under increasing pressure to do more on fewer resources. Obviously, this isn’t true for everyone but we do know that those who come on Time Management are often highly stressed and usually feel they are already doing everything they can to manage their time better.

Given that seems to be a common theme what else can people do to help them manage their time more effectively?

Be more visible. 
If you are someone who just gets on and does your job quietly we bet you are most likely not being noticed which means employers and colleagues aren’t necessarily aware of how much you are actually doing. Becoming more visible means blowing your own trumpet, not a very British thing, but it will make a huge difference. Let people know what you are doing, what you have done and what you are planning to do.

This might seem like overkill, but this really will help to raise your profile and others will see you as more productive.

Take care of yourself. 
All the while you put other people’s needs above your own, your time management will most likely unravel. Letting people know what you can and cannot accomplish will save everyone aggravation. By saying yes when you want to say no, you are inviting more work without letting other people know the impact this will have on your work-flow.

Be a problem solver. 
Alongside being able to say ‘no’ more effectively, be someone who’s great at offering solutions that you don’t have to do yourself. Being a creative member of your team will also raise your profile.

Turn the Tables on your Time Robbers. 
We all have them! People or situations that eat away at our precious time. Take some time to identify those time robbers and plan a strategy for deflecting them. These are your habitual interrupters, people with loads of drama and crises in their lives, people who need rescuing. This is the time to set really firm boundaries so people don’t wheedle their way in and feel they have the right to snatch your time.  

Have some fun. 
We are such believers in fun at work but we also know that people who feel under the cosh don’t always have the best time, let alone have any fun. Look for opportunities to be more playful, take more breaks, don’t work long hours which is counter-productive.

By Jo Ellen - Impact Factory Founding Director

Find Impact Factory's next Time Management course in London.

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