There are so many time management methods available and so many successful people use them, but I find that creating your own personal methods are just as great as well.
I personally don’t use any existing method and only rely on the ones I have thought up of. And it works for me.
I think it works so well because the ones you come up with aren’t a one size fit all method.
They are unique to you and your natural style, your natural energy patterns, etc., so it’s not ‘forced’ and it’s not a new method you have to train yourself to implement and get used to.
The truth is, these time management methods are only as good as they are used.
If you hate following it because it’s very unnatural to everything you usually do, or have to force yourself to work a certain way, you are only going to dread the work you are doing and it will take all enjoyment out of what you do for so many hours in a day.
So it’s pointless to do a method just because it’s the hottest trend or people you know are doing it and having success with it. Just remember, it’s for some, not all.
My beef with time management
What these time management courses and philosophy’s and the people that created them or promote them don’t tell you is the bare essence truth: you can not manage time.
Time happens whether you want it to or not. You can only manage you!
So maybe someone should start naming them ‘you management’.
I think I will call it ‘work management’ 🙂
My overall point:
If you don’t think you are accomplishing as much as you want to in a day, then go ahead and experiment with different methods. Maybe even combine some. Or go with my idea and create your own. 🙂
The purpose is to get more done in a more efficient manner in a timely manner. So it might take some experimenting, and it might take time for you to find the stuff that works for you, so don’t get frustrated.
But don’t just stay with one method because everyone else is and they think its incredible. If it is not working for you (and you should know within a week), then stop that method and keep testing out new ones.
Don’t let this interfere with the joy and love of your work.
Being efficient and getting things done is important – but if you hate the process it’s just not worth it.
A short list of common ‘time management’ methods:
David Allen’s “Getting Things Done” (GTD)
Cirillo’s Pomodoro Technique
Franklin Covey’s (day planner and A,B,C method)
Example of the one I customized for myself:
1. Don’t open my email until after I have accomplished at least 1 or 2 things
2. Don’t get on any social media until after 12:30pm – most of the time I don’t even venture on this until around 2pm. I treat it almost as a reward. I have to get some things done before I go on it.
Note: I don’t pay attention to those places that tell you what time to tweet or facebook post. If you have a following and they are interested in what you have to say, guess what – they will either look for your tweets or updates or they won’t. No one sits around waiting for them anyway.
3. Take a 5 minute break every hour and drink water, walk around, do something unwork related
4. I have a stand up desk – have been using one since early 2000’s. It started with a bad back situation and standing was better than sitting. After that, found it very hard to go back to sitting at a desk, so I have been using one ever since. I makeshift mine, but more are available today because of the trend growing.
4 Benefits of using a stand up desk (there are tons more benefits, including health):
1. keeps you more focused because you don’t get as tired if you are sitting
2. helps the creative juices flow because you tend to pace when you are on the phone or walk around a bit more.
3. It also keeps your mind sharp because more oxygen is flowing throughout your body easier because you aren’t sitting
4. you have more energy so you can get more done.
These 4 things help with accomplishing tasks, being efficient, staying focused – being in your prime state.
5. I don’t have any ‘notifiers’ on my laptop go off – distraction . I also keep my cell phone on silent when working – just check a few times throughout day.
All calls and texts can wait unless I am expecting a certain one. If you are responding to every phone ring and text, you are at everyone else’s beck-n-call and are on their schedule not your own. You also won’t accomplish nearly as much.
Tip: Set ‘phone time’. It’s really a must. Even if you have to break it up – ex: you are available from 10-11:30am for phone calls, then again at 2:30-4:00pm, etc. Let everyone know they will just go to voicemail if they call other times. You get the point.
You have to implement boundaries if you want to accomplish things in your life and you want to control your life. If you control your life, you will be 100% happier.
6. There are some other things I do that are ‘my own’, but you get the idea.
“Work management” 🙂 is about creating a structure that is best for you, so you can be productive and tap into your potential when it’s available at its prime.
What that really equates to is setting boundaries, staying disciplined and focused, and knowing when you are at your best.
For ex: I am not at my best after 3pm, as I am a big morning person. If I am going to do creative work and not just ‘tasks’ then I do it before 3pm. That is also why I save social media till usually after 2pm (not always, but usually).
Another ex: I think I have ADD so staying focused on one thing is hard for me. So I don’t fool myself to believing I will. I just know within a 1/2 hour time period, I will usually be tackling 2 different things. So I build my system around that.
See how easy it is for you to create your own customized system that is just natural for you? This is why I highly encourage it.
My examples are provided simply to remind you to be flexible with this. Tweak and cater this as much as you need to, so it’s 100% natural to you and takes into account all your quirks and perks. It should be natural enough of a system where you don’t even think twice about within a week or so. That is when you know you have the best work management system for you personally.
What are you using? What methods or ‘tricks’ have you come up with to help you have more structure in your day or get more things accomplished, or just be more efficient when you engage in a task? What new boundaries are you willing to put in place so you can control your schedule more? Share what has worked for you, or anything else on this topic in the FB comments box below or on my FBfanpage.
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