5 To-Do’s of Time Management | Southwestern Coaching

During our February webinar, Emmie Brown—President of Southwestern Speakers and Senior Partner at Southwestern Consulting—talked about time management and touched on one of the most challenging parts of balancing your schedule: understanding the difference between what’s urgent and what’s significant. Without a thorough schedule you’re committed to, you may end up working only on pressing issues instead of important tasks. To strike the right balance between urgent and significant work, try the following five to-do’s of good time management.

1. Start With an Ideal Schedule

Building a schedule template and using it to plan your days and weeks might seem counterintuitive. Sticking to a tight schedule will give you less flexibility and leave you more stressed, right? The opposite is actually true. The more detail you put into mapping out your schedule, the more work you’ll get done, the more time you’ll have to relax, and the more flexible you can be with your time!

As you develop a schedule template, think of all the things that take up your time as falling into one of four categories: rocks, pebbles, sand, and water. The basic idea is that rocks are your most important tasks. The other elements have descending priority and are meant to fill in the extra space.

2. Understand Your Master Metrics

Master metrics are your daily priorities. These are the major accomplishments and tasks you must complete to hit your goals, so give them top priority.

3. Share Your Schedule

Your schedule should be something everyone knows about and can see. This way, people know when you’re available and when you shouldn’t be interrupted.

4. Protect Your Working Hours

Don’t let things like errands or trivial work get in the way of time when you should be working. Ideally, the opposite is also true. Don’t work when you’ve set aside time for another task, even if it’s something like journaling or exercising.

5. Treat Your Schedule Like You’re in High School

Approach your schedule with the same mindset as a high school student. When you’re scheduled for chemistry, you can’t spend the class period studying another subject, right? Give your current schedule the same type of authority. If you’ve blocked off time for prospecting or any other task, don’t “goof off”—and that means not procrastinating by working on something else, even if it’s also important.

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