In the last edition, I shared some tips and advice around time management. Here’s part two that looks at more ways you can master your time – give it a go, you might find a technique that really works for you.
So, this is not about forgetting all your work for hours while you engross yourself in Candy Crush or World of Warcraft. Although the principles of why these games are so successful are what we need to tap into for our own productivity. Games build in complexity but provide the player with the skills and knowledge to develop, to achieve higher levels. Games also reward the player not just with the pride of achievement but also with coins, equipment, stars or extra experience. You can use these principles in managing your workflow and your productivity.
- Break down tasks into achievable goals and focus on what’s important.
- Reward yourself when you reach the goal.
- Set yourself a stretch target next round.
- Celebrate when you succeed or learn from why you didn’t and move on.
- Could you include colleagues? Let the competition commence…
See Helen Routledge; Why Games Are Good For Business, Palgrave Macmillan.
Stop for a minute… yes please, stop and reflect.
Consider the factors that reduce your productivity and take action as needed. Know when you are at your best, and when your energy is lower. Are you a morning person or mid–day, or afternoon or evening person for that matter? When are you most energised?
Consider planning the tasks that require most of your energy at these times of the day/week, and adapt your work environment, style and systems accordingly to compensate.
Know when you’re at your best each day/week, when are your times of productivity or slow times – arrange your tasks accordingly – if you’re ultra productive first thing on a morning, organise your day so that your challenging tasks align to your best times.
No–one can multitask!
I know that I am a man, so I wouldn’t know what multitasking is anyway, however, actually none of us can effectively multitask!
Try this short exercise with your colleagues in your next team meeting. Ask everyone to get a blank piece of paper and a pen…
When you tell them to, ask people to write the letters of MULTITASKING followed by the numbers corresponding to the quantity of letters in the word multitasking (11) (i.e. M U L T I T A S K I N G 1, 2, 3, 4….11).
Ask them to do it in the quickest possible time. Hand up when they are finished – you make a note of the completion times.
Now ask them to write the word MULTITASKING letter by letter, but followed by the corresponding number after each letter i.e. M1, U2, L3 etc. – time them, hands up when they are done. Make a note of the completion times.
Review how long it takes to complete the second task, I would suggest that most people found it harder and longer undertaking the second task. You may even find that some people lose track of the letters/numbers and may even give up!
So plan your tasks one after another, rather than trying to flit between two or three tasks. You will be more efficient and effective that way.
John’s first career was as a PE teacher. He has almost 20 years’ experience working in commercial training departments within both the public and private sector. He’s always been passionate about helping people realise their potential.
His specialisms are management development and leadership, with a focus on helping people to find the best solutions that make a difference to their working lives.