Time Management Which Works For Me

Last Updated on June 15, 2020 by Alex Rowan

I keep my time management simple. 

To be most effective, we can only work/FOCUS on ONE thing at a time, and must be action takers – doers.

  1. Identify most important singular thing to work on now.
  2. Focus – stop task switching, eliminate distractions, silence phone etc. Declutter desk.
  3. Identify how much time is left before one has to stop for major break – for lunch, to do other non avoidable tasks etc.
  4. Set a timer – if at 08:30 I’m ready to deeply focus, I set my iPhone timer (nice and simple!) as a countdown to 12:30 which is when I have lunch. So that’s 4 hours. Makes me conscious of how long I have too. Timer is visible on a stand (Rain Design) – iPhone plugged in).
  5. Breaks ‘take care of themselves’ in the sense that I go to toilet, snack/have tea as needed at desk – working until I NEED to briefly stop. This is important – I tried Pomodoro etc but found it was not only distracting, it also broke my focus and FLOW, and did not feel natural because it forces breaks when not required. I use a stand up desk too to help my body – up/down etc. I don’t pause the timer for breaks.
  6. I find having the countdown timer also enables me to conceptualise how long I’ve got left before a major – work disrupting – break. This inspires me to maximise my focus, productivity (without rushing) and track progress; all working together to help propel/motivate me psychologically forward.
  7. Having a big chunk of time on the timer helps create a relaxed sense of comfort that yes, I have time to get this done. I am thus better able to focus on producing quality work.
  8. The timer effect, including being able to see it, also creates senses of urgency, ‘competing’ with myself (not rushing) and the value of time.
  9. Conceptualising and planning my day around time blocks helps me get a big picture view of where my time is going, and how long important projects will take. It makes them more measurable too. Examples: It took me 3 hours to complete that module so the whole CPD course is likely to take….and; with 4 hours in the morning and say 2 in the afternoon – I get a chance to review what is important and where I might realistically increase project work hours etc.

(When working with clients I use a different system.)

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