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a blog by Chris Barrow

7 steps to effective time and task management

It has been said that there is no such thing as time management (we all have 24 hours a day) and, therefore, there is only priority management.

If we work too many hours and don’t get to see our family, it’s because we have prioritised work first.

If we never get to the end of the to do list, it’s because we have prioritised DIY over delegation.

The subject comes up all the time in my conversations with owners, managers and team members.

Attached to this post you will find my attempts to make some order out of this (the graphic will also be added to the free resources download area of my web site this week).

The mind-map divides time and task management into 7 key areas:

  1. Make a list – and make sure you deal with the “A”s first every day;

  2. Create boundaries – protect your time and space from interruption;

  3. Understand the difference between urgent and important (or, as Michael Hyatt would say, “ask yourself every day which three tasks will have the biggest impact?”);

  4. Delegate effectively (everything that isn’t your unique ability);

  5. Communicate with your team regularly both face to face and digitally;

  6. Create a safe place where you can do your best work;

  7. Make sure that you annual calendar is planned well in advance to ensure the correct balance between professional and personal time.

My own experience is that, by sticking to these principles, I can stay well organised 80% of the time.

The other 20% is what life throws at us, for example a 15-day charity bike ride or a wife with a badly broken finger.

Not beating oneself up if it all occasionally falls off the rails – that’s the final step.

You can download the mind map here:

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