If there was one small improvement I could make, that will significantly impact my life, it will be managing time. As a wife, mother and small business owner, my head was always crammed with things to do and places I need to be. Most days, I would complete 60% of my tasks while the other days I would achieve a meagre 20% of what I needed to do.
This pattern continued until I read Stephen Covey’s ‘The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People’ and I realised that I was not putting first things first and I was spending valuable time doing tasks that added very little to my overall productivity goal. In the book, he suggested categorizing and prioritizing your tasks into 4 quadrants Urgent, not Urgent, Important and not important. The idea is to accomplish first; the tasks that are urgent and important and the not important/urgent last. If you are like me, you might consider activities like watching a favourite TV soap or catching up with friends as urgent and important, but that’s ok, it gets better.
I will not say, I have perfected the act but I have come a long way from where I used to be. Below are some strategies I used and still use to guide my use of time:
·Lists: I write down everything I need to do and prioritize using important, urgent, not important/urgent as earlier mentioned
·I determine how much time each task will take and also the best time of the day to work on the task (For a crisis though, you have to act immediately)
·Review: At the end of the day, I go over my diary to see what I accomplished and tasks that were not done. Interestingly, on the days when I am diligent I find myself checking all items on my to do list. What a good feeling!
I would love to hear your own time management stories. Share your thoughts.