Have you found that no matter what you do, you never seem to get to the end of your to-do-list; constantly having to roll over items from the day before? When the projects pile up, you start to feel overwhelmed and have to rethink your priorities and decide what to tackle first. Your time management seems out of sync, some items that would usually take you a few minutes are now taking longer and you are losing track of the time.
Well, help is at hand! It’s all about putting your time management skills, prioritisation skills and of course project management skills to use. When it comes to starting a new project that’s been assigned to you for work, you start by wondering where to fit this into the hectic days you already have. Juggling family, working from home, and having deadlines can be overwhelming. There are a few things you can do, besides joining our coaching sessions on My Pocket Coach.
Firstly, you need to manage your time so that you are focused for each session and include regular breaks. It’s recommended to break your days into 30 min slots with 10 min breaks in-between. Let’s call these 10 minutes, ‘Carrots’. Think of a donkey; if you try to get a donkey to move, you can ask nicely, shout and scream but if it doesn’t want to move it won’t move. However, if you dangle a carrot in front of it, it will move towards the carrot. So, if you are the donkey, you will work knowing that you have those delicious breaks right in front of you. Strike a deal with yourself to move swiftly and with focus towards those ‘carrots‘; even plan activities that you can look forward to do during these breaks.
Next, let’s prioritise. Imagine that you have a plate filled with food that you need to finish. On your plate you have the carrots, a frog and a slice of chocolate cake. What would you eat first? Why would you eat that first? Use this attitude for your priority list and when deciding how to approach it. Make your to-do list and write down next to each item whether it is a carrot, a frog or a piece of cake. Keeping in mind any deadlines that might be creeping up. Once you have your list, divide the work into 30 min slots – starting with the frogs; to get them out of the way.
Lastly, project management is about ‘managing the project’. Have a list of all the items that need to be completed and the people involved in the project. You do not have to do it all if you have a team at hand – delegate the tasks. Estimate the time each task will take and what will be required to complete it. Once you are clear about the details you can communicate your expectations clearly.
I hope that this ‘taste’ of time and project management can help improve your skills.
Visit our Improve My Skills section for a full list of the coaching areas offered by My Pocket Coach.
By Kay Leslie