Hi meaningful leader,
Wouldn’t it be nice if we could wave a magic wand and be able to get more done and still have time to spare?
Truth be told, time management and task prioritization have to be among the two more challenging skills we can attempt to master, especially with more distractions than ever constantly surrounding us. A confirmation of this is perhaps why Google searches on the topic is a staggering 111 million! Yes, you read that right…
So to continue with our topic of emotional intelligence, I would like to highlight how EQ can help us achieve it.
As discussed last week, two components of the skillset that is known as emotional intelligence, are self-management and relationship management.
Mapping out our daily tasks with proper planning and a conscious outcome in mind is easy to do…I personally love to-do lists and the satisfaction of checking off completed tasks off it. However, sticking to that schedule is a completely different story.
Have you even gotten to work with a clear picture of the most important tasks you need to prioritize, only to be diverted by an unexpected, but critical email or phone call, or a last minute urgent meeting you must attend and then your well-planned day goes down the drain?
The majority of us start out our day with the best intentions to manage our time wisely and accomplish the tasks at hand, only for something unexpected derailing our efforts and then inevitably we spend the rest of the day trying to put out somebody else’s fire, or working on resolving issues that didn’t exist when we planned out to-do list. Before we realize, the day is practically over and we’re completely off schedule, tired and utterly frustrated.
Can you relate?
But here’s the caveat…
When the distractions are your own, sticking to a schedule requires self-management.
When the needs of others try to impose over our plans, it requires effective relationship management to properly handle the relationship while ensuring that our priorities are also addressed and our time is respected.
Aside from defining how to stay on track with our tasks, learning to effectively prioritize is critical to achieve effective time management. The following are 8 habits I use that help me to stay on track:
1.- Track your time: Assign time in your calendar for the completion of the tasks you have to work on each day. Same as we respect times assigned to meeting and show up to them prepare and with the right mindset, attending the times assigned for task completion would help you get it done.
2.- Plan your “Top Three”: Having a long to-do list can feel discouraging and unrealistic. Instead, use the 80/20 rule an focus your first attention of the day to the three main tasks that would move the needle forward for you and get them done first, before any hiccups can derail you.
3.- Get clarity on the end of your day: Part of planning our day is also how that day will end. Working long hours, despite sometimes being unavoidable, is ineffective. After certain amount of hours our efficiency and concentration drops; which translates into less quality of work. Remember that the Parkinson’w Law states that work expands to fill in the time available to complete it. Having the end of the day clear from the beginning, will force you into keeping a focus flow to maximize the time you have.
4.- Value your time and availability: Set times during the day to check on texts and email to avoid being uninterrupted in the middle of a task and derailing its completion. Not everything requires your immediate attention, stop reaction like everything does.
5.- Remove distractions: To piggy-back on the previous one, remove text and email notification when focused on completing an important task. Did you know that it takes 23 minutes to refocus after an interruption?
6.- Don’t be afraid to say no: Prioritization requires that you sometimes decline opportunities that might be attractive but that won’t serve you to achieve the goals you have at the time. Sometimes no can be the most productive word in the dictionary.
7.- Practice continuous improvement: From all tasks you do repeatedly that are necessary but won’t move the needle forward significantly, ask yourself the following: Can I delegate, automate or eliminate and sift through the clutter.
8.- Get a handle of your inbox: Emails can be one of the most distractive and time consuming elements we deal with daily. Set two times a day to check your emails and take action. If your action is required – reply. If it information only – read &archive. If it’s spam – unsubscribe and delete.
Planning our daily tasks and winning the day are two different things. Time management is intentional and it requires a system that supports our strategy.
I truly hope you found value here today. If so, like, comment and share with one person who can benefit from this content.
Thanks for reading and God bless,
Always rooting for you!
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