As a follow up to my recent teleseminar with Cheryl Heparin of Michigan Health Coach, I am happy to share a recording of the call and a study guide to help you apply what you are learning. You can listen to a recording of the call at http://www.attendthisevent.com/Classic/?eventid=10244838.
You owe it to yourself to take an hour and listen to the call tonight. Still feel like you don’t have time to listen to the call? Take a few minutes to review the information below, print the article and use the space available to identify how you can apply these ideas to your own challenges.
Why is time management so important to reducing stress, especially during the holidays?
Whether you have ADHD or not, it is easy to become overwhelmed with the number of activities you need to complete in a typical day. When my clients can ease that sense of overwhelm, their stress decreases and they get more done. Of course, the holidays can create extra stress simply because there are more activities that need to be completed so time management becomes even more important.
Consider your own time management challenges here.
How can I create more productive hours in my day?
While I cannot add more hours to your day, you can make the hours you have more productive. Select one of the ideas below and give it a try for the next few weeks.
Start by planning your week and your day. If you know what you need to accomplish and identify when you can accomplish it, you have just increased your odds of getting it done. If you don’t feel like you have time to plan, start with 15 minutes for your weekly planning and 5 minutes for your daily planning. Even just a small amount of planning can really help.
Tracking Your Work Time
After you have planned your day, try to estimate how much time each task will take. First, this is a great double-check on your planning. If you have planned 16 hours worth of activities into your workday, it is a sign that you need to prioritize what gets done and take a few things off the list. Second, the most powerful part can be when you go back at the end of each task and note how much time each one actually took you to complete. By developing more accuracy in your planning, you can be more realistic in the future.
Prioritized “To Do” List
Use a prioritized “to do” list instead of giving every activity equal weight. During your weekly planning time, take a minute to assign a priority to each task. This will help to ensure you don’t waste time on low priority tasks
Limit the Amount of Time Spent Checking Email
Email tends to use a lot of time for people these days. To control the amount of time you spend, consider checking your email only a few times each day. If you check your mail each time you get a new message, you lose a lot of time transitioning between your current task and checking that email. You’ll spend less time on email if you check it in chunks.
Use the Right Planner or Calendar for YOU
For more effective time management, you need to use the calendar or planner that is right for you. If you don’t feel like yours it working, check out my recent article on Choosing the Right Planner. It includes a useful checklist that will make you a more informed shopper! Choosing the Right Planner Article
Manage your Social Media Time
While social media is very important and useful in today’s electronic world, decide how much time you can afford to spend on it and set a timer to stay on track. Otherwise you just might spend a whole day before you know it!
What idea will you implement? When will you implement it?
How can eliminating disorganization help people meet deadlines?
Disorganization causes us more transition time when completing our tasks because we spend time looking for something that we need to accomplish. Worse, we might lose something that needs to be completed.
I recommend starting small when trying to get more organized. Pick one room, one stack of papers, one drawer to start. There is temptation to tackle the whole office or house at once, but this typically adds to our stress level. If you focus on one small step, maintaining it and moving on to the next small step, we are more likely to be successful in staying organized.
How can you improve your organization?
How does a coach help with time management challenges?
As an Attention and ADHD coach I help my clients identify their attention challenges which often include time management challenges. First I help my client identify the challenges – it is important to ensure all of the challenges are identified. Next I will typically help my client set their short and long term goals for time management. It is important that they are SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely) goals. The next step is to develop an action plan that will enable the client to reach their goals. One of the most important part of coaching is when the coach works with the client to develop an accountability plan. The coach helps the client to be more accountable to themselves and their goals. This process continues as new goals are developed.
If you are unable to hire a professional coach, ask a friend to work with you as a buddy coach or you can take yourself through the steps of
- Identify Challenges
- Set Goals
- Develop an action plan
- Track my success – hold myself accountable
- Develop long term goals
The most challenging thing to do on your own, will be to hold yourself accountable. This may be where you want to partner with someone else and you can hold each other accountable. Who can be your partner?
What will you do today to overcome your time management challenges?
Decide what you will start doing today to gain control of your time management challenges. Remember to pick just one item to start!
- Estimate and track work time
- Keep a prioritized “to do” list
- Check email only a few times each day
- Pick one area to organize
- Apply coaching strategies to my coaching challenges
Good luck with your time management challenges now and into 2010. Please let me know if you have any questions or if I can be of assistance to you!