“Either you run the day, or the day runs you” – Jim Rohn

Time Management and Efficient Working Habits – these may seem like distant and unattainable dreams, the kind of hashtags that glamorous and inspirational jet-setting people use on Instagram (and that leave some of us feeling a little bit bitter!). However, having chatted with a few people, I have discovered that brilliant time management is a skill that many of us have without even knowing it, espcially if you run a business.I sometimes have people contact me, telling me that they are in total chaos and disorganised; often it transpires they are very organised indeed, they just have too much on their plate. 

So, as a result of our team productivity chat, and to celebrate the working habits of my network of successful VA contacts, I’ve put together a few time management tips that have worked for me (or have been recommended by others), and could really help you if you feel as though you aren’t working as productively as you would like to:

Set aside time at the beginning of each week, and day, to arrange your ‘to do’ list, and prioritise tasks based on urgency or importance – this should help you to ensure that the most important tasks are done first, so that you aren’t rushing or fretting if you are running out of time to complete a task.  However, it’s your task list! If you need some light relief after an intensive few hours of working on a very important task, why not ‘take a break’ by carrying out a quick and simple task that you find easy or enjoyable (if such a thing exists on your task list!).

Make A Plan - some tasks will overlap and you may not be able to complete one without the other. This is where planning comes into play. Planning is an essential time management skill because it allows you to foresee all of the tasks that will be required to complete a project and how they will best ‘fit together’. A well thought out plan will save you a great deal of time.

Focus On One Task at A Time – There will always be other things competing for your attention. Focus – turn off the app and mail notifications, block out all distractions, and just concentrate on what it is you want to get done now. The idea of multitasking may work for some people, but every time you ‘lose your place’ because you’ve become distracted by something else, it will take you time just to remember where you were before.

Delegation – Are you the best person to complete this task? So many people think in order to be successful, they have to do everything themselves, but that’s just not the case – especially when you have a team working with you.  The most effective people are able to recognise where their skills are best suited and where their weaknesses need support. One of the greatest time management skills is knowing when you are not the right person to perform the task, and who to ask for help (politely!).

Organisation – In my career I’ve met many people who are happy to work in what they call ‘organised chaos’. But is this really an effective way to work? It does take time to set up a proper filing system, but once it’s done, it will save you lots of time, as you will be able to refer to information without having to think about it.

Patience and Forgiveness – It may seem strange that these should form part of a list about effective time management, but they are both important skills which have to be practised, especially if you are a lone worker and therefore put a huge amount of pressure on yourself to work as efficiently and productively as is humanly possible (or beyond that level!).  Have patience and give yourself plenty of time to complete your work properly.  However, acknowledge that occasionally, mistakes will be made along the way: it is important to ensure that you have time to review your work and correct any potential errors so that any work produced will be of the highest standard possible.

We really hope that you can take something positive away from our time management tips – even if it is the realisation that you are doing okay already!

Have a productive and efficient day! From the Personally Virtual Team.


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