We hardly focus on spending time learning to spend our time better. However, these quick activities & ideas by Time Slot Pro are great ways to increase your awareness of how your time is spent and to become more intentional in how it is spent moving forward.
Every step in personal development is a struggle, but with these easy, best time management activities you can see clear results and act quickly. Like ripping off the metaphorical Band-Aid that has been masking bad time management habits!
Ten Minute Reflection Periods
This activity has a few different names but they all boil down to reflecting on how you have been spending your time. This calls for a bit of paper, a pencil or pen, and ten minutes of your time.
1. Step One: The Setup
It is going to sound a bit kindergarten, but fold your paper in half horizontally and then fold it in half vertically. You should end up with four squares that are about the same size.
In the top of each box, place one of the following labels:
- Last month
- Last week
2. Step Two: The Crunch
Take eight minutes (set a timer on your phone) and fill in each square with how you spent your time, in those time frames were. It is definitely easier to work from the last hour, to the last month as you probably remember what you were doing fifteen-minutes ago more easily than what you were doing last month.
Don’t shy away from listing things like “responded to emails”, or “made recruiting calls” even “sorted through cabinets”. The goal isn’t to list every accomplishment you had, only how you spent your time.
At the end of eight minutes, put your pen or pencil down.
3. Step Three: Analysis
Go through each list and place a checkmark next to each item you listed that was important and needed to be done right away. Then, go through and circle the items which were a waste of time or that you received no benefit from. There should be a fair amount of both checkmarks and circled items.
Why? Because not every second of our day is hyper-productive.
How Do I Use This To Improve Time Management?
See those circled items on your list? All of those need to be either delegated or just denied. If you know that you are obligated to some of these tasks then place a timer on them. Instead of checking your email to completion, commit to fifteen minutes in the morning and five minutes at night. If something were more important, someone would pick up a phone!
Finding Your Frog
There is a long-loved time management method referred to as “Eating the Frog”. This came from Mark Twain claiming that if you ate a frog every morning, you would go through every day knowing that nothing worse could happen than having to eat that frog. But, it isn’t always easy finding what the most grueling part of our day is. Many of us have multiple activities that we hate and actively avoid.
Step One: Listing
Take your to-do list for the day and start placing numbers next to each item to indicate a priority. The number system is completely up to you. Some people use a scale of 1-3 others uses a scale of 1-10, take your pick!
After you’ve prioritized, circle or highlight the things you hate the most. What makes time drag and your day seem like it’s never going to end?
Step Two: Picking Your Frog
This time management method works best if you’re starting your day with your biggest, ugliest, slimiest frog of all. On your to-do list, find the one or two highest priority items that you also circled or highlighted as absolutely terrible.
Although this seems like a time-consuming activity by itself, when you get in the habit this whole process should take less than a minute. Use this time management activity whenever you’re feeling overwhelmed with terrible things in your day!
Time Management App
To support the techniques above, use a time management app like Time Slot Pro. Set your own schedule and allow clients to pick and pay for the time slot that works best for them. Not more phone calls and text messages back and forth. The entire time slot booking process it automated right on the website application.