By Guest Contributor Dan White
Author of The Soft Skills Book, Dan White gives his top tips on time management.
Time is a precious commodity. Successful people tend to make time for what’s important to them by minimizing the time they spend on dull, unimportant things. If you want to advance your career, build personal relationships, relax and enjoy your personal life, you need to find ways to minimize time spent on low-value activities.
Here are four things you can do to help:
PLAN YOUR TIME
This means deciding what to do and when. A good tip is to plan the week ahead in broad brushstrokes and the day ahead in detail. Schedule complex tasks for when you’re at your best (early on, if you’re a morning person) or when you know you won’t be disturbed.
SET TIME LIMITS
For less important tasks, it’s worth setting yourself a time limit. If you do, there’s a good chance you’ll complete the task on time. If you don’t give yourself a deadline, you’ll invariably work for longer than the task warrants.
WORK IN BATCHES
Most of us think we can multi-task, but it has been proven that every- body works better if they focus on one thing at a time. This is especially true for repetitive tasks because we get faster as we go along. It pays to do these in batches, like responding to emails in bulk. It’s also helpful to avoid distractions, such as responding to messages, in order to maximize our concentration and minimize the time taken.
SWAP WITH YOUR TEAM
A great way of saving time is to swap work with colleagues, allowing you to focus on what you do best and can do quickly. Meanwhile, your colleagues focus on tasks that you find particularly time consuming.
When it comes to deciding what you should spend your time doing, the task prioritization matrix can help. This grid is based on the principle that if something is important, it deserves time being devoted to it, and if something’s urgent, it needs to be done soon.
A lot of people find one simple piece of advice helpful: write things down. This has two huge benefits:
• You won’t forget what needs to be done
• Your mind can relax, knowing that it doesn’t have to keep a mental record of your ‘To-Do List,’ which creates a sense of calm that contributes to a good night’s sleep
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
DAN WHITE is a marketing and insights innovator. His frameworks and visualizations have influenced generations of marketers via the methodologies they have informed, including the world’s leading brand measurement, media evaluation and copy-testing systems. This unique blend of expertise ensures that every piece of advice offered in The Smart Marketing Book and The Soft Skills Book is based on robust evidence and a wealth of practical experience.
In this practical and savvy guide, Dan White describes the soft skills that anyone in today’s world of work needs to learn, absorb, and demonstrate if they are to progress in their career. Uniquely illustrated and presented, the author explains each soft skill clearly, why it is relevant and important, and how to apply that skill to your working life. In short, the book provides the missing link to ensuring your job and career is successful and fulfilling.
In today’s complex commercial environments, marketing has become a central aspect to every successful business. Businesses need flexible, effective means of gaining commercial traction by managing their relationships with audiences, stakeholders and competitors. They require effective marketing and branding that move beyond the standard forms of brand orientation and commercial interaction. New marketing models must think smart to create innovative strategies which have long-term sustainable economic goals.
The Smart Marketing Book is a practical, reliable and concise title that offers the core marketing principles – applicable for anyone who wishes to improve their organization’s financial and creative values. It is a straightforward guide that avoids unnecessary and time-consuming practices. An illustrative handbook that covers marketing principles and topics through visual innovation. A credible statement to all marketers trying to source the most relevant strategies from a field cursed with infinite information.