3 Practical time management tips

1. Eat the frog

A traditional Chinese proverb says that if you eat a live frog every morning, nothing worse can happen to you that day. Not exactly a joyful edict to live by, but it does highlight a key to time management – do the stuff you are avoiding first. Procrastination robs me of so many hours that could be spent on work, family or myself but when I eat that damned frog before I start the day I’m in a better frame of mind to tackle the rest of it.

2. Plan the work not the deadlines

Time-plans are not the same as To-Do lists with deadlines. All you’re planning here is which deadlines to miss. Use a simple grid to map out your day/week and write in when you are planning to do each task. What you end up doing might not look anything like the plan, but you’ll see where you can find the time for tasks and move stuff around where necessary. Great for controlling that panic when the workload seems overwhelming

3. Step away from the problem

I’m not advocating you tell the boss where they shove their unfeasible demands, but it’s worth checking exactly what is being asked and when it needs to be done by. Negotiate the deadline if you can or suggest a better person to complete the job. You need a bit of diplomacy for this one, but it can reduce your workload and your stress.

A walk to clear your head or a run to the coffee shop can really help you regain perspective or take 5 minutes for a chat with someone supportive who won’t encourage moaning or procrastinating (see point 1, frog, above).

Those are my 3 really useful time management tips from a slacker who should be doing her accounts right now. Hope they help.

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