Blog Post Series Part 3 – Time Management: Putting Tasks into Action

By Rob

Productivity and time management are a key part of running a successful business. During Lynn Hunter-Murphy’s workshop on Productivity and Time Management, Lynn offered knowledge, advice, and tools to maintain productivity and manage your time effectively. We will be sharing a four-part series of advice that was shared in this workshop. 

After establishing your mindset, determining your tasks through Task Management, the final step is to translate your tasks into time. Here are some general tips and tricks to work towards effective Time Management: 

  • Focus – It’s important to focus your energy on the tasks that are most urgent and important. If you’re having trouble starting on the urgent and important tasks, sometimes it can be helpful to complete a simpler or shorter task. That will start up your momentum for getting the most important things done. 
  • Time Box – The time box is a strategy that establishes a certain amount of time for a task, and during that time you remove all distractions and focus on the task at hand. Lynn offered an example of the time box she uses to focus on given tasks. For 30 minutes, she would focus on one task, then have a 5-minute break. This would be repeated 4 times until she’s spent an efficient 2 hours on the task at hand. After 2 hours, she takes a 20-minute break to recharge. Time blocking can be effective because it allows you to use that time to focus exclusively on the task at hand, rather than being repeatedly distracted by other tasks and having to regroup. 
  • Minimize interruptions – Another key aspect of time management is minimizing interruptions. We are living in a digital age where we are accessible to people through technology 24/7. However, this does not improve our efficiency. For the period that you’re working on a task, unless there’s an emergency, notifications should be limited so that you can focus on the goal at hand. According to a study at the University of California, after a distraction, it usually takes an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds to get back on task [1]. 
  • Limit multi-tasking – Although it is tempting to multi-task to get more work done, the result is not as positive as we may think. Multi-tasking causes too much stress, with little pay-off. Better and more valuable work is accomplished when we can focus on one task at a time. 
  • Review progress – Once tasks are completed, it’s important to review your progress and to assess what is the next important and urgent item on the checklist. 
  • Revise the plan – After the workday is done, this gives the opportunity to revise your overall plan and create the brain dump for the next day. 
  • Repeat

Overall, time management is the final piece that allows you to focus on your goals without letting the tasks overwhelm you. By planning ahead, you can save yourself time and move forward with your business endeavors while not sacrificing quality time doing the things you love.