When it comes to making improvements, no one is beyond falling for those quick-hit pieces that promise immediate returns without all the fuss. At the very minimum, they're certainly worth the read, even if the most you take away from them is just a hardy laugh.
For the record, this post is not one of those get-rich-quick schemes. Sure, when it comes to the topic of time management, I'd bet most of us would be interested in discovering the secret sauce. But the reality is that improving one's productivity is a complicated elixir with no easy solution hiding in the grass.
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While technology will undoubtedly help, by itself, it won't get you across that finish line. Instead, achieving greater time management comes down to the level of commitment in the people leveraging the technology that helps drive home the platform's actual value - and ultimately help realize the necessary improvements and intended outcomes.
So, how do you effectively improve your time management? A commitment to these essential time management skills: Awareness, Arrangement, and Adaption.
When it comes to time management, awareness is one's ability to recognize that time is a limited resource. This is a challenging skill for most of us to master, with many of us struggling with accurate self-awareness, particularly at work. However, this competency plays a significant role in how well we avoid procrastination in particular, so the ability to strengthen this skill set can go a long way toward improving your overall productivity.
To improve your awareness, consider:
- Focusing on the accuracy of your self-awareness. Participate in feedback circles with peers or directly ask your supervisor for performance feedback on this subject. Building a foundation of understanding around this skill will help you improve upon it as you move forward.
- Emphasize effectiveness. This is less about being fast and efficient than doing things productively at a high level. You can tackle each day with a renewed approach with a focus on effectiveness. Consider assessing at what point in the day you're most productive and working on key tasks and projects during that time frame. Determine which undertakings are imperative compared to others that are less essential and prioritize appropriately.
Remember, this is all about valuing your own time, so don't be afraid to let go of some duties to open up your schedule and create greater possibilities for your own productivity.
Of the three skills mentioned here, "arrangement" is most likely the easiest to master, given the availability of tools and platforms to help us organize our workdays. However, with that said, it's still a skill that doesn't automatically come naturally to everyone, no matter how many day planners and scheduling apps exist.
To help you improve upon this skill, I recommend you start small. Consider:
- Creating a to-do list. This is the first step to help you stay on top of your tasks, but it's essential. Make a point to note which tasks are more significant than others to help you prioritize your approach to completion.
- Hold the line when it comes to important vs. urgent tasks. Learn to recognize the difference between these two concepts, with the most notable advice being that urgent isn't always the best use of your time. Prioritize tasks that share both qualities while also keeping an eye on the critical duties that may require more time and reap more rewards.
Of course, one's sheer ability to change also comes into play with all this talk of new approaches. And for some, that in and of itself is a difficult challenge to overcome. Adaption can prove quite daunting for those who struggle with interruptions in their schedule or get overwhelmed by workplace pivots and shifting priorities.
Where to start:
- Keep it short. Don't allow yourself to get overwhelmed with the critical mass of a larger undertaking. Instead, mentally focus on giving the task your undivided attention for 15-30 minutes. These shorter time frames are less daunting, meaning you're more likely to keep your time management on course.
- Try new technology. If you're trying something new anyway, why not emphasize tools built to help you help yourself? Don't be afraid to experiment with technology platforms that have your productivity and time management already in mind. Just remember, technology alone isn't enough to move the needle. Think of it as a trusted partner along your fundraising journey.
Looking for more ways to master your time management? Gravyty's Ultimate Guide to Fundraising Productivity takes a complete look at how you and your team can optimize their time. Download for free today and begin your journey towards being the best fundraiser you can be: