Task Management: Walking the Fine Line of Work Life Balance

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Happy New Year! Don´t you love to start a new year? I adore the beginnings of news stages. In one hand the ending of a year gives us the opportunity of meditating about what we did right (or not so good), what we´ve learned and what we have reached.

On the other hand, the beginning of a new year is ideal to plan what short-term goals we want to achieve. For entrepreneurs, this time is perfect to establish those goals, planning actions and analyzing the next moves for their businesses.

One of the most important aspects to achieve those objectives (personally, professionally and in our business) is knowing how to manage time effectively. Time management, a scary phrase, but one I love to talk about… On how to exploit 100% those 24 hours we are granted everyday.

For many people, there is a real challenge to accomplish all the things they must do. Even more so, doing it all keeping the balance everybody needs between work, family and themselves. Don’t you feel like a juggler moving around sharp knifes while balancing on a monocycle on top of a tightrope? The key to becoming a great time juggler is implementing a smart time planning.

The first thing we must learn is to write down on paper the things we need to do and when they need to be done. I know, I know, talking about deadlines this early in the year makes anyone cringe, but they are crucial to achieve our goals.  Then we need to establish an approximate time to execute each task (according to the previous experience we have). I love to use a diary or planner. I highly recommend them and they help a lot to visualize the amount of work we need to do. I am more efficient when I actually write things down on a paper, but if you love technology, there are several apps in which you can even dictate your “To Do” tasks.

However, keeping a planner is not only about writing down appointments or meetings we must attend. This tool is essential to optimize our time management. The company FranklinCovey developed a time management methodology in their planners that I recommend you to look at in detail:

http://franklinplanner.fcorgp.com/store/index.jsp?

In this methodology the company presents, in summary, the following:

Identify the core values: What do I want to be? What do I want to achieve? What do I need to make it happen? That will be the beginning of all the time management process because every task we define we will do, must have a purpose consistent with the general goal we established in this step.

Set specifics goals: This is a list of objectives in the short and medium term we need to accomplish in order to reach our mission. For example, your primary goal for this year is to improve the sales in your business. One of the objectives could be to find a sales training institute, take a course on this topic and implement the acquired knowledge. Another objective could be to hire a sales manager.

Important: These goals must have deadline, yes… deadlines… otherwise they could get lost and never be fulfilled.

Weekly and daily planning: This is the step-by-step list of tasks you need to get done in order to achieve your goals. Include the dates and hour things need to be done. Your smartphones have the greatest apps to accomplish this, and they all sync with the calendars on your computers.

This methodology also states how important is to identify, between all the tasks we need to execute, which ones are important and which ones are urgent. It allows us to establish priorities.

If you want to be efficient and successful in your time management, you need to consider your planning not only in the professional area but also in your personal too (family responsibilities, personal health, recreation, etc). Too many people give all the importance to work and, in consequence, dedicate the major amount of hours to it. BIG MISTAKE! You can´t be truly successful if you don´t get a good work-life balance. We have to develop our ability to plan efficiently our work life and our personal life. This way we´ll reach that necessary balance, reduce stress levels and enjoy the results of our effort.

Once we establish the list of tasks we need to execute every day, week and month, we can categorize them (Urgent, Not Urgent, Important, Not Important) and enumerate them in each category according to their priority in time. This exercise will allow us to know what´s the first thing we must attend every day.

Example:

Task calculation   I-NU-1

Paying advertising provider    I-U-1

Customer service team meeting I-NU-2

Pre-production video meeting with referral customer I-U-2

Potential clients follow-up calls   I-U-3

Weekly meeting with IT team    I-NU-2

Sales training I-NU-3

How-to-juggle-on-the-tightrope-and-not-die-while-trying

At last, The FranklinCovey methodoly recommended to include in the daily planner only the amount of tasks we can handle. If we plan too many things, we´ll feel inefficient because there will always be an unattended task(s).

Let’s implement this kind of planning brainstorming for a few minutes every week and see how we can take real control of our time. This helps us organize our thoughts. It´s a highly recommended practice.

Of course, with these recommendations, I don´t want you to develop an OCD (Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder) with time management and be inflexible with the planning and your schedule. There will always be times when you will need to improvise and make some adjustments, but believe me when I tell you… implementing this strategy will change your life!

Let´s plan and be successful! Here at Br8kthroo we have the tools to help you and your business make it to the next level. We have a great coach that will be more than happy to help you stablish new goals and identify priorites. You are more than welcome to contact us to find out more.

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Author: Melbeg Exposito

Melbeg Exposito is one of Br8kthroo’s collaborator for copy write material and the Marketing Director for Organización Repro. Formerly she was the Channel Campaign Manager for Oracle Venezuela and the Integrated Marketing Communications Manager for IBM Venezuela. She is the recipient of the Publicity National Asociation (Anda in spanish) award. Melbeg has a Social Communications Bachelor’s Degree from Universidad Católica Andres Bello and a Master’s Degree in Marketing from Universidad Simón Bolivar.

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