Good time management skills are crucial for any profession. It allows you to get things done, do the right thing, and avoid burnout.
There are those who handle it better than others, but I doubt there is a person who has never thought about it. We all want to accomplish more and avoid wasting time on insignificant questions.
Today, I want to share with you tips from one of our long-time teammates.
Rohan Khandeparkar is a Visual Composer support team lead who handles customer requests for both - Visual Composer and WPBakery. It has always been a secret how he manages to address all the tickets and keep the satisfaction rate as high as 94%.
And this is why we invited Rohan to do an internal educational event on his time management practices.
But why keep it to ourselves? As sharing is caring - we want our customers and readers to discover new ways to handle their time in a better way.
Before we begin - time management matters
In case you think that time management is something that everyone is aware of - think twice.
Only 18% of individuals worldwide have a dedicated time management system in place. An average worker spends more than 50% of their time working on low to no-value tasks. On 20% of people feel that their work is under control.
These are some stunning numbers and you can easily find more statistics to prove - time management is a thing.
What does it mean for you and your business? It seems that half of everything you do as a company is a waste of time.
It also means that there is an opportunity out there.
With proper time management in place, a company that is half-size of its competitors can win the market.
It also gives your teammates confidence that they are working on something meaningful.
What would Rohan do?
It all starts with planning. Whatever you do - you need to have the plan to follow.
A good plan will ensure that you know exactly what to do and will help you measure your success.
What Rohan suggests is to think ahead and have your plan for the next week ready by Friday.
It does not mean that you are all set up. As we run the support team meetings on Monday, it is ok to make changes once you have new variables to operate with.
Moreover, you can make adjustments to your plan on a daily basis if you feel that you are missing out on something rather important.
Think about it:
- Start with the planning
- Plan for a week ahead
- Adjust your plan during the week
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Planning of things
Your plan is here to guide you - not to tell you what to do every second.
What Rohan found out is that there is no value for him to describe every single day. Instead, he focuses on what things he needs to accomplish this week and defines their priority (weight).
As the day comes, pick items from your list that you want to get done. This will help you to set plans for the day and avoid micromanagement.
And when we talk about “a list” - we mean it.
Have your plan written down on a piece of paper while keeping a copy in your head. Refer to this written plan and make notes.
Always add estimates of how long it will take to complete this exact item. Even if you have no idea about it. As you get things done - review your initial estimates to become more precise in the future.
Think about it:
- Focus on things you want to accomplish
- Don't plan every move
- Add weight to your tasks
- Keep your list in a written format
- Always add estimates
Planning of time
This is all about how your day-to-day schedule will look like.
While “Planning of things” will help you to address larger user stories and new initiatives, “Planning of time” will help to manage daily operations and “business as usual”.
In fact, your time planning should include spots for addressing the points you have written down in your “Planning of things” list.
What does the plan look like?
Also planned for a week, it should include time gaps reserved for your daily operations. For example, Rohan reserves time to address issues on WordPress.org as a separate entity and knows exactly how much time he is going to spend there. The same goes for community activities.
As for the things, keep your level of abstraction high. Don't plan anything that takes less than an hour.
Another thing to keep in mind - reserve time for breaks. We can't work 8 hours in a row. Having breaks helps us keep sharp and better organized. Plus, it gives you time to switch your mindset between different activities.
It is important to acknowledge that you will fail at the very beginning. Planning of time is based on trial and error - as you mature, your planning will get better. What is important is that you need to review your plan, discover failures and look for solutions.
Think about it:
- Reserve time for day-to-day activities
- Leave spots for "Planning of things"
- Define breaks
- Be ready to fail, learn, adapt
Hard vs Easy
It is crucial to understand how you feel about starting your day.
Rohan prefers to start his day with some easy tasks to get quick wins and build positive vibes for the rest of the day. This way, you will slowly get into the rhythm and be ready to handle “the dragon” right before the closing bell.
At the same time, there are people who prefer to deal with hard decisions early to slow down during the day.
Think about your energy flow. If you feel more energized in the morning - go with the hardcode stuff right away. If you are an owl, start small and add a level of complexity as the day progresses.
Think about it:
- Are you comfortable starting with easy or hard tasks
Disclaimer (and Conclusions)
All things might not work for you as Rohan was sharing things from his point of view.
We are all individuals with our own preferences and habits. We have different characters, motivations, and paces. Just because Mark Wahlberg wakes up at 3:30 AM to start his rituals does not mean you should.
Instead, look at what works best for you and your company or agency. With so many ideas out there, it is relatively easy to find a golden cog for your inner clock.
And most importantly, try new things on a regular basis. You never know what impact it may have on your time.
Do you have your own time management tips and tricks? Don't hold them under the pillow and share them with us - join our community.