February 24, 2023

5 Tips to Improve Time Management

Kath Allen - Engineering Manager

Looking to improve your time management? Follow these 5 simple steps from the Learnerbly engineering team. They're applicable to all teams across all business types.

🕖 1. Focus - Plan your day

  • Identify three things you want to achieve for the day
  • Timebox - Set out time in your calendar to focus on each of them. It will encourage you to set aside time to devote to each of your three priorities
  • Plan ‘free / thinking time’ - Don’t over commit yourself in back to back meetings
  • Plan a stress/worry window

📝 2. Your system in 4D

When tasks pile up, it's easy to feel overwhelmed. Use the 4 Ds to assist you figure out how to deal with it.

  • Do now - Something that needs to be acted on
  • Delegate - Can you delegate this task to someone else?
  • Defer - Can this be deferred to another time? Do you need to be doing it now?
  • Delete - Does this need to be done - Can you delete/drop it?

Check it out here:

The 4Ds of Time Management and How To Use Them - Toggl Blog

🧠 3. Get in the zone

Focus. Focus. Focus.

  • During your time boxes, zone in and shut everything else out
  • No email, no Slack, no context switching during this timebox
  • Try to take blocks of 15-20 mins of pure focus - set a timer!
  • You could try out the Pomodoro technique - Useful timer

🪟 4. Worry window

Time spent worrying or stressing can be emotionally and physical exhausting and impact other things that you are trying to progress on. To help stop these thoughts from consuming and distracting you, acknowledge what you are thinking/feeling and address it during worry time.

  • Time dedicated to your worries or stress
  • If you don’t need to deal with worry or stress, take the time to rest and recharge
  • Identify if you are in control:
  • If something is not in your control - defer, delegate or escalate
  • If something is in your control - prioritise when you want to address it and add it to your review at the end of the day
  • Bonus content - Check out the worry tree for help identifying your worries
  • “I’m really glad I spent all day worrying and stressing about that issue” ~ Said no-one ever!

🏃 5. Get yourself ahead

  • Reflect on your day - Can you identify any improvements or something that you should keep doing?
  • Identify your top three priorities for the next day

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