You’ve climbed the corporate ladder. Achieved success. And now the reality of missing your kid’s hockey games (or ballet or any other activities you have them in!) sets in. Where has the time gone? How did they grow so fast? Work doesn’t seem as important as it did… the importance of being with your family has taken priority in this moment. So now is the time to change that. Using these time tested techniques, you can recapture your time. So read on and make the time for your kid’s hockey games!
Tip #1: Do a calendar review every Friday afternoon or Monday morning
This is about putting structure in your day and week. Setting priorities and being clear on what is most important to work on right now. This strategy involves a 10-minute goal setting and review practice once a week, and a 5-minute check in daily. Your ROI on is exponential. Put the time into planning and save the time in execution. In setting objectives for your week, include meetings, projects and tasks that you would like to complete in the next week. You may include the other parts of your life in an all-encompassing schedule. This may include reminders for family time or obligations, health, exercise, time with friends, volunteer activities, sports and errands (dry cleaners, etc.). Some of my clients even schedule in a movie or TV night that includes family or friends!
Follow these easy steps:
Do a brain dump of everything you need to be doing. Just list everything either on a paper list or using your on line to-do list.
Once completed, identify your top priorities by marking them with a ‘1’. These are the tasks that if not done now will have consequences. Leave the rest for now.
Schedule these priority ‘1’s by putting them into your calendar. Allocate an appropriate amount of time for each.
As you wind down your workweek, review what you have accomplished during the week and set objectives for the following week. Reviewing your calendar can give you a sense of accomplishment and prepare you for even greater success and satisfaction the following week.
Use the following tips for greater time success:
Tip #2: Don’t be a slave to e-mail
Schedule in three blocks of time each day for email. Time-tested best: Three 30-minute chunks – one at the start of the workday, a second before or after lunch and a third mid-afternoon. Schedule whatever works for you based on your workload, customers and occupation. If your organization/team has a committed response time, break these into smaller chunks more often. You get the idea – allow yourself to be fully present in whatever you’re doing. That maximizes efficiency and decreases stress. Also, turn the email notifier bell off. It acts as a distraction and takes you out of what you are doing to respond to something that likely can be left until your next email check-in time.
Tip#3: Be reasonable in what can be accomplished in your workday
Don’t take on the world! Be reasonable about what can be done in any chunk of time. And always build in time for the unplanned. Give yourself breathing space. And then leave for home more relaxed.
Tip #4: Schedule your day
We all have interruptions and a degree of unexpected meetings and situations. Plan for them. Yes, plan for them. Start each morning with a schedule review.
Add in scheduled meetings
Add in time to view and respond to email
Schedule project/task times based on your weekly objectives
Leave some flextime for interruptions, impromptu meetings, etc.
Tip #5: Evaluate your attendance in any meeting before confirming