Archive for the ‘Time management’ Category

How to get more done with the time you have

16/11/2009

TIME Management

Christmas is a busy time of the year for a lot of us. On top of our daily work and family commitments, we have parties to attend, presents to buy, dinners to prepare, trees to decorate…

What should be a relaxing and enjoyable time of the year spent in the company those we love, can sometimes seem like the most stressful time.

I coach clients who are trying to find a happy balance between career and family life, who tell me they dread the next few weeks because of the extra work load put on them.

Kate, one of my current clients, told me  the  time saving technique I am going to show you next is “the best thing since sliced bread” and that her life is a million times easier since having discovered it!

Start to use my “SIEVE IT WORKS” time saving technique right now, and allow yourself to fully enjoy this very special time of the year!

What I want you to do now is grab pen and paper and write your “TO DO”  list for today. Once you have done this, I want you to “sieve” every single task on your list by answering the following questions:

1 – IS IT URGENT?

If it has a deadline, a set date and time it needs to get done by, then write “Urgent” beside this activity.

Urgent activities may include work projects, meetings, doctor appointments…


2 – IS IT IMPORTANT TO YOU?

If getting this done is important to you and of benefit to you and your life in the long term, then write “Important” beside this task.

If doing this makes you happy, for example, making sure you eat healthy meals, or getting an exercise session done, or reading a chapter of your favourite book…

3 – CAN SOMEONE ELSE DO IT?

Are you the only person who can get this done, or can you delegate?

Whether it is a work task or a home chore, allow other people to help you. Provide guidelines on how to get the task done and tell them the result you expect.

Even if the result is not up to your standards, be ok with it being “good enough”. So, if you can delegate, write “Delegate” beside the task.

4 – CAN YOU GET RID OF IT?

If it is a “time waster”, just cross it off your list.

Time wasting activities can be: tv, the internet, video games, emails, some telephone calls…

You now have a list of tasks with the words “Urgent”, “Important”, “Delegate” beside them.You may also have some tasks completely crossed off your list.

Now, whether you want to use your diary, your outlook calendar, or whether you want to produce your own excel schedule, allocate time for your urgent activities and important activities for today, giving yourself some extra time (20-30 mins) .

For example, if you think a meeting should take 20 mins, allocate 40 minutes for it on your diary. This is to account for interruptions and/or delays. And if it actually takes 20 mins, you will have some extra time afterwards to relax or to  get started on your next task.

Also, make sure you delegate those  things you wrote “Delegate” beside. Whether you can do this straight away, or you have to wait until later in the day, make a note of it on your diary too, as a reminder.

At the end of today, refer back to your diary and tick off all the activities that got done with your favourite color marker. Don’t be surprised if you get a sense of accomplishment and even self pride.

Do the same thing tomorrow, and the next day, and the next day…!

Please let me know when you’ve put this technique into practice and how well it is working for you.

Talk again soon!

Anna

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How to say no – 3 simple tips that can change your life

13/11/2009

Saying NO

Not now...

If your life is hectic, if you are so up to your ears in work and home commitments that you can’t even think straight. If paperwork, meetings and projects keep piling up,  and you feel like you can’t cope, then you may need to learn to say no.

If you spend most of your time doing things for others and forget to take care of yourself, then your self -esteem and confidence may be suffering as a result.

Learning to say NO at the right time and in the right manner can literally turn around your life.

Not so long ago I coached a successful entrepreneur, whose life was in a right mess. Her business was doing well despite the recession, but her marriage was in tatters, she barely got to see her kids, she couldn’t sleep at night and during the day her head was all over the place.

She was always late for appointments and meetings yet she kept scheduling more  and more into her diary. She said yes to everyone and everything. Except her husband, her kids and herself.

She was a perfectionist who thought no one could get things done as well as she could, and so she took on a ridiculous work load. She had people working for her but she did her job and everyone else’s too. Yet she was unknowingly neglecting her family, and her own physical and mental health were a time bomb about to explode.

This superwoman broke down in tears on our first session when she realized that she was destroying the most important things in her life: her family, and herself! What would her family do if something happened to her as a result of all the stress she put herself under?

Then, I introduced her to the word NO. At first she had trouble saying it. She thought if she said no to people,  theywould think she was rude or selfish. She was shocked to learn that  when you say no assertively and in the right manner, people actually respect you more.

When I taught her different ways to say no to people respectfully and gracefully, her face lit up like she’d just found out a treasure! After just a few weeks of putting these into practice, especially in her business, she had transformed into a completely new, more confident, more relaxed and happier person. In our coaching sessions, she  also learnt how to run her business more effectively, so she was able to spend more time with her family. And she was loving it too!

Here is 3 simple ways to say no  that completely turned around my client’s life for the better:

  • NO + BECAUSE

For example: I can’t attend that meeting because I promised my kids I’d take them to the cinema tonight.  It is                                          not esssential that I attend that meeting as I can sort that issue over the phone tomorrow.

  • NO + OPTION

For example: I am sorry. I can’t take this call right now. But I will call them later/ email them later/ get                                           my secretary to call them

  • NO + DELAY

For example: Let me think about it and i will get back to you in 5 minutes (this will buy you time so you can

decide if what you are asked to do is actually important for you right now or if you want to say no.

There are many other ways  in which you can allow yourself to say no and make it work for you and for others too.

When you take time to decide what your priorities are in life and you choose to stick by your decision, you will find it easier and even liberating to say no when necessary.

But like everything else in life, the more you practise the better you become at it!

Anna