Ten Top Strategies for Effective Time & Energy Management
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1. Work off a plan. This allows you to ‘budget’ your time, work in breaks and keep an overview
2. Start early. This helps keep stress and hence energy levels in check. It also helps to keep you in control, and assists you to think more creatively about how you use your time and energy
3. Allow 2-3 times more time than you need to carry out tasks. Be realistic about what you can achieve. Tasks generally take 2-3 times longer than we think, partly because our energy, concentration and motivation are in play, partly because of interruptions and partly because we may (particularly in the early days of business) underestimate the time we allocate tasks. Build in time in your day to respond to emails and post, phone calls, emergencies and the unexpected.
4. Break large tasks down. This prevents overwhelm in the case of very large tasks and helps you stay in control
5. Start it now! Stop it now! Where possible start tasks immediately. This helps simply to break the back of your task and give you a feel for the complexity of the task. Similarly stop when you say you will stop. Don’t get bogged down. Stop and move on to something else in order to keep on top of everything
6. Work at a steady pace. Avoid an all or nothing approach. Work at a steady pace. Work steadily to prevent your energy levels from spiking needlessly then plummeting. A steady approach will also help keep you motivated.
7. Time yourself (know yourself). A good skill to develop is the ability to say ‘this task will take me ‘x’ amount of time’. This comes about by timing everything you do and developing a feel for both your rate and pace
8. Let go of what you do not need to be a) doing right now and b) thinking about right now. Plan what you need to do and when, then let go of everything else apart from what you are focusing on right now
9. Consider outsourcing routine tasks that may cost you valuable time, particularly if you run your own business. You have at your disposal a certain amount of time, energy and money. You may decide to trade your time, energy and effort to save money. Long term, however, you may reach a stage where you need to trade money in order to save on time which can be better used elsewhere
10. Enjoy your life! This is your life so keep things enjoyable and engaging. Avoid stress, worry and desperation – this will put you in a negative mindset, may stifle your creativity and could slow your progress in life. Maintain a creative, light-minded approach in order to keep your energy and motivation high
Adapted from the STIMULUS Development & Training Time & Energy Management companion handbook © Copyright STIMULUS Development & Training
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