May 30, 2012

Drowning In a Pile of To-Do’s? Two Tips For Time Management

Recently my clients (and I) have been freaking out about the same darn issue – time management! That feeling of being overwhelmed by super long to-do lists that seem to get longer by the minute. During my client coaching calls, rather than applying pressure to do more and get more done, I like to take a look at the whole picture and ask a couple of key questions:

  1. What can we take off our list to make it more manageable?
  2. Which to-do’s on our list have “faulty systems”?

The first one can seem like a major challenge. “How do I take a task off my list? EVERYTHING is important!”, you’re shouting back at me. Well, yes, it is, but maybe it’s not important that you get it done right now. Maybe it can wait two weeks or heck, even two months! Sometimes taking a couple of action items off the list can help us breath and give us the room we need to tackle everything else.

“Okay Robyn, I crossed off two items, and flagged another two for January, now what?”

Let’s take a brief look at some of the systems you have in place for getting things done. One of my client’s recently had “get passport photo for Mia” (her daughter), on her list for what seemed like forever. After talking it through we realized that this was an item her au pare could easily handle. Taking a look at her system for handling the task allowed her to delegate and cross it off her own list. Success!

Another example of evaluating a “faulty system” is evaluating your day. What are your time suckers? Where you do get lost in the sea of not getting stuff done? Personally, I’ll set out to answer some important emails and find Facebook all up in my face flagging it’s little red notification flag, and I immediately feel like that is the most important thing that I need to do. It derails me and I get little done afterward. So, what’s the new system there? I get the heck off the Facebook during my work day and have certain times set aside just for Facebook play.

So as we get super busy, ask yourself the two key questions, what can I boldly take off my list (or save til later) and which of these to-do’s has a “faulty system”? I guarantee you’ll find more time in your day and in your brain to get everything done.

I’m off to check Facebook! Just kidding 🙂

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