Time management, self discipline, whatever we call it, sometimes we need to take a step back and really look at how our life is taking shape, do you feel constantly overwhelmed, overloaded, and not sure where you are going to get the time to get it all done, why not grab a cuppa and take a few moments to answer the self reflection questions below, and you will quickly identify areas where you can make changes and improve your management of time.
1. Do I start my day early
What does my morning routine consist of? Do I eat a healthy breakfast and get straight to work? Or do I dilly-dally and waste time on unimportant tasks?
2. Do I prioritise my tasks
Do I organise my to-do list? When I begin, do I focus on difficult tasks first to get them out of the way, or do I tackle smaller jobs to build momentum? There is no right or wrong way, just as long as I am productive.
3. Do I use calendars or daily planners
Do I plan what needs to get done? Or do I go through a mad rush at the finish line and miss any deadlines?
4. Do I set and respect deadlines
Do I hold myself accountable for my deadlines? Do I respect and value my time?
5. Do I focus on one thing at a time
Am I constantly multi-tasking or do I focus on one task at a time? The truth is that multi-tasking often diminishes my quality of work.
6. Do I limit distractions
Do I strive to avoid and eliminate all distractions? Do I allow myself to be constantly interrupted by emails, IMs, phone calls, or disruptive noises?
7. Do I take frequent breaks from difficult tasks
Do I step away from a project to refresh my mind? Or do I try to work even if I’m exhausted? Often I need a mini-break to re-gain my energy and creativity.
8. Do I set a specific time to check email or return phone calls
Do I set boundaries for routine tasks? Am I limiting disruptions by setting appropriate times for communication with others?
9. Do I use a timer and set time limits
Do I often lose track of time? If so, perhaps a timer will help me stay on track and avoid procrastination.
10. Do I outsource or delegate tasks to others
Do I dread certain tasks? Who can I ask for help to get things done?
11. Do I set reasonable goals
Do I break down tasks into manageable chunks? Or do I try to tackle the impossible?
12. Do I use my commuting time wisely
Do I sleep on the ride to work? Or do I use my time wisely to catch up on my emails, reading, or work?
13. Do I use automation and computers to save me time
Are there ways that I can automate repetitive tasks? Can I use templates or web-based tools to help me get things done faster? If I’m unsure how, perhaps I can ask my colleagues or friends for ideas.
14. Do I reward myself for a job well done
Do I offer myself an incentive for a job well done? Do I work faster and harder when I have something to look forward to?
15. Do I organise my desk and computer files
Is my desk clear of piles and my computer optimized to find what I need? Or does clutter surround me making it difficult to get things done?
16. Do I make quick decisions
Am I quick in making decisions? Or do I waste too much time weighing the pros and cons?
17. Do I choose not to micromanage
Do I lead by example and give people the space they need to get things done? Or am I constantly pressuring myself and others?
18. Do I say no when needed
Do I take on more than I should? Or am I assertive and say no from time to time?
19. Do I take advantage of my Prime Time
When I am motivated, do I take immediate action? Or do I let that energy fade as I get distracted by the details?
20. Do I only allow positive thoughts in my mind
Do I have encouraging thoughts in my mind that help me to focus on getting things done? Or do I get frustrated and discouraged when a challenge springs up?
So how did you do? If you have answered ‘No’ to any of the self reflection questions above download our free ebook and learn how you can ensure that you will answer yes to all questions in the future.
Till next Time
Mike gardner – The Time doctor