I frequently talk about organizing your space and paper or digital files. At the beginning of the year, I also suggest reviewing and tweaking your routines as they have a direct impact on your productivity. Whenever you are re-assessing and re-organizing especially when getting organized so you’ll have a productive year, there’s one more piece of the puzzle to focus on…reviewing your processes for managing your time and task list.
This is an essential component of the getting organized puzzle. You can have a clutter free space and all tasks consolidated on one list but without good time management strategies in place you could fall short of achieving your goals. As you consider what’s working and what’s not working, think about:
1. How do you prioritize tasks?
You may have specific parameters like a due date as your mechanism for setting priorities that you follow consistently. Or you may be in firefighter mode tackling one fire after another with little time to breath.
If you don’t have a definitive approach, consider trying one of the time management strategies for prioritizing tasks like: The Eisenhower Matrix, MIT’s (Most Important Tasks) or Brian Tracey’s ABCDE Method
2. How do you use time?
If you frequently find yourself at the end of the day not knowing where the time went and looking at all the unfinished tasks still on your list, doing a time tracking exercise may prove to be helpful.
Once you have diligently recorded the data over a couple of weeks, carefully review it, and then make changes that align with your goals.
3. How do you manage your calendar?
It is not ideal to have every minute of the day blocked so there’s no breathing room. It is far preferable to have open blocks every day so that you can accommodate the unexpected.
Remember when blocking time to work on a task to overestimate the amount of time it’ll take to complete it. This way you are sure to have sufficient time to complete the task. If it takes less time than you anticipated, you’ll have some bonus time to use however you like.
The time management piece is a really important part of getting organized so you’ll have a productive year. When was the last time you reviewed how you’re managing your time and task list? If you’d like to share, please reach out to me.