by JP Jones
Time Management. Just the phrase itself makes eyes roll of the busy as we scoff and mutter “I certainly don’t have time for that!”. Sure, we’ve all heard the tips that will give you back hours in your day and the infomercial-esque promises of three easy steps to get a grip on the clock. Unfortunately, here in the real world of impossible deadlines, demands and duties we know better. Instead of a quick fix for all our time management dilemmas, let’s explore a shift of mental focus in our stride to battle the tick-tock of a day blurring by before our very eyes.
Let’s start off by destroying the myth that time management is a set of steps or rules. It’s not! While tips and tricks may work for a while time management is a much bigger concept. It’s challenging our minds to constantly arrange our priorities in terms of productivity, shaving off seconds and being proactive in our daily tasks.
Let’s explore your morning routine. Imagine for a moment that you walk into a dark quiet office. The following tasks must be performed: lights, computers, printers, and devices all powered up; the coffee maker filled and started; papers filed and ready for the day and so on and so forth.
How many of us would hit the power button on the computer and sit and watch as it boots up? Have you ever fallen prey to that time sinkhole? Possibly, but probably not often. What do we do instead? To be optimally efficient we start walking through the office pushing power buttons and moving from device to device so that when we finish our ‘rounds’ as it were the earlier devices are now booted and ready for action.
Let’s take the same mindset of efficiency now and apply it to some other and more abstract areas of our day. For instance, when heading to the conference room for a meeting do you find yourself growing frustrated as attendees are late and time is wasted? Next time, set aside tasks that are easily transportable and when you show up promptly for the meeting you can knock out a few tasks while the others file into the room.
Think about this shift in our mindset. In what other areas can we apply this same principle? By changing how we think about our time and looking for places were seconds and minutes are wasted we ARE actually doing the impossible—we are creating more time in our day. Emails can be answered on elevator rides, phone calls can be returned when we are walking to the copier: the opportunities for efficiency are endless!
We are all aware of the dangers of multi-tasking touted by business gurus of every industry. Doesn’t this approach fall into that category? Traditionally, the negative aspects of multi-tasking are applied to multiple tasks that require the same amount of focus. This splits your focus and often results in two tasks done with mediocrity.
That’s not what we are talking about here. We are “multi-tasking” if you will, by combining a productivity task with a physical endeavor. The key to this type of multi-tasking is planning.
I live in a rural community which means that I often have long car rides to get from point A to point B. When a trip is scheduled I specifically “save” tasks that can be accomplished in the car. If I will be driving then it might be as simple as returning phone calls via my hands-free system or listening to a webinar that I was supposed to review. If I will be a passenger, then all bets are off. Friends, family and coworkers alike are used to seeing me arrive with laptop or tablet in hand so that work can be done or emails answered during a 20-minute drive.
What causes that kind of productivity and efficiency? A mindset shift. As you gear up your next work week be mindful of the small seconds you can save, they become the big minutes you gain in your day. The more efficiently your work is completed, the more time you have for the things in life you love.
IAAP works with the best trainers in the industry to ensure you have relevant, engaging, practical content at your fingertips. This blog is written by a speaker with a program in the IAAP Approved Programs database. Search by name or keyword to find their contact information and book them for your Branch or Region event.
About JP Jones
JP Jones is a serial entrepreneur with a passion to encourage others. She shares this passion by speaking to groups of all sizes and demographics on topics related to Marketing, Customer Service, Time Management, Professional Development, General Communications and more. The author of several books, JP is the owner of Paige1Media & Paige1Publishing, and co-founder of Collipsis Web Solutions, LLC working with clients around the world. JP’s firms work with over 300 active clients around the world. JP has had the honor of winning over 250 awards for her work in design, customer service, public relations and philanthropy. After receiving her B.S. JP has gone on to study and receive certifications in entrepreneur related courses from both Harvard and MIT and most recently completed the Micro-Masters Program at Curtin University. Staying on top of business is her job. Teaching it to others is her passion.