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Time management

Time management
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Before you begin.

Throughout this self-study module, remember:
• Participate fully
• Be open and honest with yourself
• Treat yourself with kindness and respect
• Be present
• Enjoy it!

Good time management doesn’t mean you do more work, it means you focus on the tasks that matter and make a difference.
Good time management is vital for our wellbeing because it enables us to:

• realise our goals (how good does it feel to tick something off the checklist?!)
• spend time on more important tasks
• seek other opportunities as we free up our time
• avoid feelings of stress and anxiety because we’re less overwhelmed
• have more free time to spend with others, pursue hobbies or simply switch off and relax.

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Before you start, take a minute or two to think about someone you know who manages their time effectively. What strategies do they use? Are they naturally efficient with their time or have they learnt this skill?
Some of us may be more organised by nature but managing our time is a skill that can be learnt with a few simple strategies, which we'll cover in the next few slides.
Be SMART.

Plan and set goals that are achievable and measurable. Use the SMART method when setting goals. This is a technique ensuring the goals you set are:

Specific
Measurable
Attainable
Relevant
Timely.

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Be intentional.

Keeping a to-do list is one of the easiest and most powerful ways to become more productive and efficient with your time. The Eisenhower Matrix is a great tool you can use to prioritise your time by assigning tasks into four categories:
• Urgent and important (do these tasks first)
• Urgent but not important (delegate these tasks to a team member)
• Not urgent but important (schedule time to focus on these tasks)
• Not urgent and not important (eliminate 'time-wasting' tasks from your to-do list)

Remember! Not everything is urgent and important - removing this pressure will help you to focus and prioritise properly. Completing this exercise also has the added benefit of freeing up some head space as your tasks are now committed to paper and you can visualise your goals, leaving you feeling more in control.
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Be disciplined.

Despite our best intentions, we all get distracted or put things off. If you are prone to allowing distractions to creep in or procrastination, remember this – it is a learned behaviour so it is possible to change! It takes a conscious effort to unlearn it but the golden rule is to do the thing you least want to do first. Then throughout the day, identify potential distractions and manage them before they arise. Taking these steps reduces stress as it frees up the mind from the nagging knowledge that action needs to be taken.

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Be refreshed.

No matter how much you have to do there is plenty of evidence to suggest that we function better after taking a break. A 30 minute break at lunchtime will increase your performance in the afternoon and allow you to achieve more than if you try and work all day without a break. A series of short breaks throughout the day can help give your brain that well needed rest and improve accuracy.

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Be ruthless.

As important and valuable as emails are, how many of us are weighed down by a bulging inbox and no time to deal with it? Here are a few simple ways to help you win your battle with emails:

• Set yourself specific time each day to deal with emails and be ruthless!
• Unsubscribe from junk emails you never read
• Create a filing system for your emails
• If someone else is better suited to deal with the email, forward it on to them
• Make a folder for ‘info only’ to help you quickly find details at a later date
• Answer and file away or delete!
• Pick up the phone – sometimes it’s more efficient to have the conversation rather than a complicated round of emails.

Be assertive.

Managing your time well isn't so you can take on more (and other people's) work. Saying 'no' is an important part of managing your time. It isn't selfish or rude. It helps manage expectations and is considerate to yourself and your valuable time. If you're uncomfortable saying "no", try phrases like:

If you know you aren't able to commit to something at all, try to avoid using phrases like 'right now', 'at the moment' or 'let me check and get back to you' as these could lead to false hope or being asked again.

• Thank you for considering me, but unfortunately I don’t have the time to do this
• I would love to, but sadly my diary doesn’t allow another item on my calendar
• This sounds like a great opportunity, but I'm afraid I must my prioritise other tasks.

Managing your time is not only about completing all of your tasks, but also making time for you. Looking after your wellbeing is as important as all of the goals you have to achieve. Allowing yourself time to switch off and relax, connect with people, engage in conversation, take notice of the world around you and learn something new can help manage your stress and boost your self-esteem.
Allow time for wellbeing.
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Thanks for learning!
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