That's it! The time management series has come to an end. Now it's time to try, learn and adapt. And most importantly: Don't give up and don't lose your courage. Changes need time and strength -
you'll see however that it's worth investing...
Picture source http://www.quotessays.com/motivation.html
You have come this far - you have set your goals, you have planned your tasks and have dealt with them as well. What comes next? Naturally the one thing that keeps us motivated: The reward.
When we talk about a reward system we have to differentiate into two different motivation types: The intrinsic and the extrinsic type.
The intrinsic motivation type is someone who is motivated by the degree of self-fulfillment from their work. This type is enthused by work and/or for a special topic just by the
fact that they learn something new. For motivation this type visualizes the big goal and lives by the claim: "If you can imagine it, you can achieve it" (Walt Disney). This motivation is often
accompanied by a high power of concentration, persistence and absorption into the material.
In contrast, the extrinsic motivation type is motivated by its surrounding. For this type rewards, positive feedback and recognition is the motivation elixir. After finishing a
certain task/project this type needs a reward directly, in order to keep up their motivation since the mere visualization of the goal isn't sufficient for them.
If you belong to the intrinsic motivation type you should take care to formulate your goals interesting and diversified. Pay attention to the SMART formular at the same time - no one has climbed
on Mount Everest overnight.
If you find yourself to be more the extrinsic motivation type you should make sure that you reward yourself regularly and break down your big goal into smaller goals.
Which motivation type are you? What experiences have you made so far?
Deal with your tasks
Ok, here goes the bad news first: You have to work on your tasks otherwise they won't get done. That means you have to overcome you weak inner self instead of looking for ways to procrastinate
If you are tempted anyhow to abandon your tasks try to focus on these four questions to get back on track:
- Does it have to be now?
- Does it have to be like that?
- Does it have to be me?
- Is it necessary at all?
Additionally these four approaches should help you:
1.Try to divide your tasks in little steps but begin directly with the first one.
2. As soon as you have finished with an unpleasant tasks, treat yourself to tasks that are easier on you. After that you are prepared to tackle something unpleasant again.
3. Try to concentrate for at least 30 minutes on your tasks and don't let yourself be distracted during that time. After that take a break and enjoy. A stop watch or something of that sort is
usually helpful to stick to the 30 minute rule.
4. When you completely run out of ideas, it can be helpful to take a step outside and catch some fresh air or to get some feedback from your colleagues. After that you'll get back to your tasks
with new motivation.
Finally I do have one treat for you: The more often you take on overcoming your weak inner self, the better and experienced you get. Let's go!
Picture source: http://www.3pointwisdom.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/Procrastination.jpg
In my last blog you learned something about prioritizing your tasks - the Pareto Principle and the Eisenhower Decision Principle are perfect tools for that.
What should my check list look like however? I got this questions from several blog readers which triggered me into showing you a few useful tools.
You know your simple check list. In order to plan you can use something called a week planner, in which you list all your dates and tasks. Be careful to consider the 60/40-rule while
Check out http://www.free-printables.net/free-printable-weekly-planners/printable-weekly-planners.htm for a few simple templates.
For all those who are in a constant creative conflict with lines and squares, check out the Super Planer. This tool will give you enough room to list your tasks any way you
Furthermore you also have the possibility to prep up your organizer with post-its. Here you'll find some fun and creative post-its that'll bring you through the day
Now it is up to you so start planing, sticking and writing down all the things that need to be noted down!
List your to do's / Prioritize
You have defined and planned your goals. Now it's time to set up check lists with your tasks and to prioritize them.
The Pareto Principle
This principle states, that roughly 20% of your tasks are so effective, that they result in 80% effect. Speaking in terms of business, 20% of your clients bring
80% of your sales.
What effect has that on time management?
We have to define the 20% of our tasks that have the most effect on our defined goals. In a reverse conclusion, we have to distance ourselves from the 80% less important tasks and focus only on
the remaining 20%.
Another good tool for priorization is the Eisenhower Decision Principle.
The Eisenhower Decision Principle
This principle divides tasks into four different categories.
A-taks: Important and urgent
We have to give our undivided attention directly to these tasks, since they are both important and urgent for our goals.
B-tasks: Important but not urgent
These tasks are perfect for our time planer since they are not urgent but still important enought to be looked after.
C-tasks: Unimportant but urgent
These tasks should be taken care of immediately but not essentially by us. These are things that we can delegate to co-workers or employees.
D-tasks: Unimportant and not urgent
These tasks are neither important nor urgent and will bring us thus no closer to our goal. The best thing to do with these things: Use your wastepaper!
Planing, planing, planing!
Try to plan in advance how you want to structure you day. A pretty easy rule is the 60/40-rule:
60% of your day/working hours you are free to plan for your work.
40% should be reserved for unforeseen interruptions - because you'll be confronted with interruption if you like it or not.
If you come to the conclusion that your time isn't sufficient to get through your projects/work you should neither jump into multi-tasking nor reduce you buffer time for unforeseen events.
Both are fatal and will only force you into uncontrolled actionism.
You'll have to prioritize your tasks instead! How that is done you'll see in my next blog entry. Until then: Start planning!
When it comes to define your goals, the SMART-strategy is a useful tool:
Goals have to be precisely formulated. What do you want to reach? What will be the result? Try to be as accurate as possible.
e.g.: I am going to participate September 9, 2015 at the half-marathon in Examplecity.
Goals have to be measurable: In which way, how often and how precisely to you want to measure?
e.g.:I want to run the marathon three minutes under my personal best time.
Goals have to be attractive and motivating.
e.g.: Up to the marathon, I want to lose 2.5 kg of weight through continuous training.
Goals have to be realistic, no matter how motivated you are. Consider your strengths, the tools that are at your disposition and your surroundings.
e.g.: I am going to run 2-3 times a week and switch to a healthier nutrition in preparation for the marathon.
Finally, a defined time frame is essential. Until which day/month/year do you want to reach your goal?
e.g.: I will have finished my preparations until September 8, 2015 in order to participate on September 9, 2015 at the marathon.
Visualize your goals! Listing only the facts and necessities will make it harder to reach your goal.
"It is irrational to aim for time management. The best what we can do is to change our behavior."
If we want to change our time management we have to change our perception and our attitude. That is why time management poses to be a persistent challenge with no standardized receipe.
No reason to worry though, here's a simple checklist for everyone who is willing to tackel this subject:
1. Define your goals
2. Plan, plan, plan
3. List your to do's / Define your priorities
4. Get busy
The next posts will give more information on the single steps - keep posted!