Did you know that the average worker spends 51% of their workday – that’s over half – on low to no-value tasks?
Did you also know that 88% of working people procrastinate on a daily basis, and the average employee actually spends around two hours and 11 minutes procrastinating each day, which adds up to more than 10 hours each week?
They say that if you don’t control your schedule, your schedule will control you. If you’d like to master your workday and take your time management to new heights, read on for some top techniques you can easily implement.
Eat the frog!
Do you struggle with procrastinating on important tasks? Your days are busy, but you don’t feel you make any headway on your meaningful projects.
Perhaps you look at your diary and feel overwhelmed at where to start, or you constantly stray to your ‘comfort’ tasks – they feel easy and familiar, but they don’t really help with making any progress in a project or your career.
If this sounds like you, you may need to eat some frogs!
This time management technique may sound a little strange, but don’t worry – there isn’t any actual eating of frogs involved! The technique has come about from a famous quote from Mark Twain, which simply sums up the concept with a frog-filled analogy:
“If it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And if it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.”
To put this into practice, each day, you should take a look at your workload.
What’s the biggest or most important task on your list – what’s your frog?
Identify your frog and ‘eat’ it by tackling this task first, and repeat this each day. If you have several large or important tasks, tackle the biggest, most important tasks first. This gets these tasks – which are often the ones people procrastinate over most – done and out of the way, freeing up the rest of your day to spend on smaller, less important tasks.
Time blocking and task batching
Are you one of those people who constantly gets sidetracked by emails, or you find yourself jumping from task to task without completing one, meaning at the end of your workday you don’t have anything completed to show for your time?
Or perhaps you look at your to-do list and have no idea where on earth to start. This is where combining two techniques, time blocking and task batching, comes into its own.
When you look at your day, you’re going to want to split it up into blocks. Each block should be devoted to getting a particular task done. Then, within those blocks, you should batch together similar tasks – if you have a few calls to make in a day, for example, instead of setting aside a block for each call, have one big block in your diary, and dedicate that time to getting through those calls.
You could have several blocks throughout the day for answering emails, a block for making calls, a block for meetings, and dedicated blocks for working on particular projects, for example.
By setting out your day in this way, you have a clear structure, and it’s easier to hold yourself accountable and actually get things done without getting sidetracked. Of course, some urgent tasks may arise, but it’s much easier to get back on track when you have a clear list of blocks to work through.
What’s more, time blocking and task batching help to prevent you going about your day in ‘reactive mode’, whereby you spend all your time simply reacting to any emails or tasks flying in as they come – meaning you don’t get to spend time doing meaningful, “deep” work.
To truly triumph with time management, when you’re time blocking and task batching your day, make sure your frog, or frogs, are always at the start. Your productivity will thank you!
Here at Engage Web, we help business owners to grow and scale through our digital marketing services, in-person workshops, and through our online marketing and business academy, EngageWeb.Club. To discover how we can help you, get in touch today.
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