Time Management

Time Management

» It’s all about the time management! «

A situation everyone knows: You start a new job, the new year or even the new calendar week with the good intention to be organized and to get everything under control. Calendar apps are being downloaded, planners and journals are created or a Post-It system is set up. But it´s not only about the right preparation, you have to stay on the ball and rigorously apply the method you have chosen. This is the only way to ensure that you don’t struggle with your time management again after just one week.

In my last blog article I wrote about Work-Life-Balance. At the end of the article I summarized my key facts for a healthy Work-Life-Balance. A very important fact is: Time management. Every day brings a new challenge. What is the best way to organize your time? It´s less about time management, it’s more about optimizing your working methods.

The Roman philosopher Lucius Annaeus Seneca said:

It is not too little time that we have, it is too much time that we do not use.

How can we use our time effectively without breaking into a stress? I developed some daily routines for myself to work it out. I would like to share my routines with you in this article.

Prioritize and planning

In the first step you have to get an overview about the tasks for the whole week. It helps a lot to write To-Do lists. One for the week and another one for the month. It also helps to prioritize the tasks with numbers. Now you have to set the Deadlines.

The word deadline has usually a negative connotation, but they are very useful for keeping your timing. Deadlines build pressure and therefore help you to focus. Particularly effective is a deadline with a specific timing. I set myself a goal. For example: Setting my cell phone alarm for 24 hours. Until the deadline is over, I can finish my tasks. You need to focus on one thing, it supports you in keeping the passion for your work.

Of course, there can be times where you have to be multitasking. That can also be a good thing. But try to focus on one thing during working on a big project and never work on your private and your business tasks at the same time. I keep focusing on the moment and try to finish one task more efficient with high quality results. In conclusion to that, do less or none multitasking if possible.

Another tip: Submit tasks. In my article about Work-Life-Balance I also wrote about submitting tasks. You can’t work on everything at the same time, all by your own and keep the high quality. I have faith in my employees and my family – so I can submit tasks.

Another very important tip is to keep your concentration: Put your cell phone aside. To focus on one task, I like to put my cell phone aside so there is nothing which keeps distracting me. Otherwise there is always an email popping up or new content on social media I want to see or reply to. When I know that there is no other important appointment I need my cell phone for, I put it aside.

Even if you get the feeling that your working time is shorter this way, it is more effective when you focus on one thing. According to the motto:

Work smarter. Not harder.

In summary my routines consist of the following points: Prioritize and planning. Set yourself a deadline with time indication. Keep avoiding multitasking on important projects. Submit tasks to other people and put your cell phone aside as often as possible while working.

Photo by Estee Janssens on Unsplash

Sounds easy, right? The key to success is consistency!

I certainly didn’t reinvent these routines but due to these methods, I developed a good time management for myself which helps me to keep a healthy Work-Life-Balance.

For all the people who like to read more theoretical, there are specific time management tools and planning-methods. In the following I would like to share with you two theoretical methods:

1) The 40-30-20-10 rule

This method would be recommended if you are quite capable of multitasking and do not like to concentrate on one thing.

  • 40% of the time is devoted to the important task (you have to define the most important task before you start)
  • 30% of the time you invest on the task with priority number 2
  • 20% of the time you invest on the task with priority number 3
  • 10% of the time you invest in the remaining tasks

2) The SMART-method

This helps in formulating goals if a normal to-do list is not enough to sort the thoughts and tasks.

  • S = Specifically, you record goals and tasks as briefly and precisely as possible
  • M = Measurable, determine qualitative and quantitative metrics
  • A = Attractive, it is always a good idea to plan in such a way that you really feel like doing the task ahead
  • R = Realistic, even if the planner’s heart beats faster, you should always be careful to set realistic goals
  • T = Timing (Schedule), as already mentioned above: A deadline helps!

No matter which method you want to work with or not work with: Always stay on the ball!

Photo by Jess Bailey on Unsplash

After 20 years of experience in financial services and a career at the big consulting firms, I founded my own consulting firm passcon and lead it to international success within only three years - now I am here to support You, the (female) leader of tomorrow!