Time management is a skill that can hold everything together in the events industry. It can become increasingly hard to spin plates if they’re all spinning at different paces.
Understanding the most timely way to go about tasks on a day to day or even hourly basis can be a difficult one, but time management doesn’t have to be time-consuming, and should instead, help to save you time even in stressful circumstances. Here are 4 timely time management tips for you!
1. Get the tricky stuff out of the way
There’s a reason this tip is first because that’s what it’s all about. Often, when facing a huge set of tasks for the day, the overwhelming feeling that a pile of work can give us leads to taking the path of least resistance first.
The reason we enjoy all-inclusive holidays so much is that we get all of the tricky stuff (the payment) over with from the start so that we can enjoy the rest of the holiday knowing it’s out of the way. The same goes for work, bumping a long task until this afternoon can often result in it being bumped until tomorrow and the next day and so on and so forth.
Facing the day knowing that the hardest thing is up first is a good way to ensure often that you can be relied upon to complete the tasks that others may procrastinate with.
2. Making scales
Although the first task of the day is an important one, often after that trickiest one, there are many others that need to be completed.
A really useful tip to organise all of these other jobs is to create some sort of grading scale or system in order to rank them. Personally, I find that ranking tasks based on importance, instead of size, works best here, therefore the imperative tasks get done reliably on time. Each planning system for the tasks you have can break down differently, but here’s an example of how you’d go about sorting items.
- Group your tasks into either A, B, and C, with the most important tasks as A and the least important as C. So you might have a few of each.
- Then, within your A tasks, rank them with numbers, 1 being your most important, so A1, A2, etc. Then do the same with the Bs & Cs.
- A1 should be completed first with C4 (for example) being the least important. Although a longer method of managing time, this method ensures meticulous prioritization, and the 5 minutes spent organizing a to-do list like this on a busy day could save far more time in the rest of the day.
3. Time-off Management
While it’s vitally important to make sure you use time to its fullest potential, without breaks in a tightly managed schedule, we all can become less effective, no matter how well our time is planned out.
Breaks, while primarily great for mental rest and recuperation, can also be a good reflective time to re-evaluate goals and think about the progress you might have made. A 2014 Harvard Business Review article noted that the primary benefit of taking a break is that you can take a step back from the work you are doing and think about it without having your head buried in it.
Sometimes having an outsider’s perspective on your own work can help to analyze its effectiveness.
4. Working where?
Time management is often most necessary when a busy day is ahead, therefore, a long day can often feel monotonous.
To manage time well is to also manage how you act in that time, and choosing to vary up your location after certain amounts of time can be really effective. The Conversation found in 2019 that sedentary workdays, no matter how productive, can have links to weight gain and smoking amongst other things, this is important because it tells us that when planning and managing our time in a day, we should include how we might change our location throughout the day.
If working from home, any location (well, most locations!) can be a workspace - here are some ideas:
- Use the kitchen top as a standing desk
- Work on the couch with a coffee table desk.
- (On a nice day) Work outside!
Working all around the home can provide some differentiation into a day of hard work and ultimately, can combine with our breaks and task itemization to result in a day that allows us to meet all of our targets in time for tea!
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DW Staff Writer