On July 13, Laura Vanderkam, bestselling author and time management expert, joined P3 to share practical strategies on how best to prioritize your time. Vanderkam believes that managing time properly is integral to "building the lives we want in the time we've got."
Laura’s seven tips are as follows:
1. Track Your Time
Mind where your time is going. Track it! Make sure you don't tell yourself stories about how you spend time. Know where the hours go.
Focus on what you like most about your time and what you want to do more of.
2. Look Forward
Write your performance review now for the end of the year. What did you accomplish? What 3-5 things did you do that made this year successful?
Make a list of things you want to spend more time doing. We don’t think about this enough because we always think we don’t have enough time.
3. First Things First
Treat priorities as emergencies and remember time is highly elastic; it will stretch to accommodate what's important. Think through the week before you go through it!
4. Move Time Around
Think of work/life integration as fluid. Leave all 168 hours open for split shifts.
Use your mornings. Mornings are a great time to get stuff done. Turn unproductive evening hours into productive morning hours.
5. Build in Space
Build a buffer in your calendar. Avoid filling every minute of your day with meetings. Open calendars invite opportunity for serendipity whereas cluttered calendars do not.
Be careful when saying "yes." Decide whether you can "Ignore", "Minimize" or "Outsource" your tasks.
6. Look After Yourself
Sleep & exercise don't take time. They "make" time through increasing energy.
Our brains need breaks. Find activities that add to your energy.
Successful people use weekends to replenish their energy levels. Ask yourself, what three things could I do that would increase my energy levels this weekend?
7. Use Bits of Time
Procrastination occurs because tasks loom large. Break tasks into small bits so that you lower resistance to the task.
Setting small goals in the short term can lead to larger goals in the long term.
Laura Vanderkam believes time management is an iterative process and it’s important to dedicate time to learning what works best for you.
Just remember, “you don’t build the life you want by saving time. You build the life you want, and then time saves itself. Recognizing that is what makes success possible.”
The P3 Program is an education initiative by Parity Partners, an executive search company committed to diverse work cultures & to supporting minorities succeed in their careers.
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