A Guest Post by Rowena Hubble – Group Financial Controller, Metcash
Ever feel like you are just too busy – that you just don’t have the time to get through your workload, not enough time to attend that special day at your child’s school, not enough time to exercise or just not enough time to do life’s essentials?
How can you stop the busyness rollercoaster of life? It is possible and it’s up to you!!
Prioritisation – knowing what to do (and when) and what not to do, is one of the many essential ingredients to ensure success in managing the juggling or balancing game of life and work and to slow the busyness rollercoaster.
Here are some practical ideas that may assist you in prioritising:
1. Be clear on the things that are important to you – it’s different for everyone
Knowing what your highest priorities are in life, what outcomes you want, will enable you to focus and escape the whirlwind of activity that too often leads nowhere fast.
Ask yourself: what are the important areas of your life – what is truly important to you? What do you want to be known for and always remembered for? Are these values and goals attainable, as you reflect on the reality of how you are managing your life today?
2. Identify your most important tasks for the day the evening before
We often hear about the importance of the morning routine but the best morning routines begin the night before. Before you finish your day, whether that be in the office or at home be clear to compile your to-do list for the next day. By sorting out tomorrow’s top priorities before today ends allows you 100% focus from the start of the new day.
How to find your Most Important Tasks (MIT)
1 – Write down everything on your to-do list, both business as usual and project-related tasks.
2 – Ask yourself: If I could only do one thing all day (and you want it to be the task that will have the greatest effect on your role), what task would I chose?
3 – Move that task to your MIT list.
4 – Replicate this for a second and, if needed, third MIT.
The tasks on your MIT list will stand for at least 80% of your output. Focus on the MITs and try to find ways to either eliminate or decrease the amount of time you spend on other tasks.
The MIT prioritisation process can be utilised beyond the work environment; it becomes useful in managing your home priorities, too.
3. Don’t prioritise the week while you’re in it – a perfect Friday task
Prioritising the week, or even just the Monday while you’re in it, isn’t nearly as effective as doing it ahead of time. Friday is a perfect day to talk about the coming week. You can reflect on what you accomplished over the previous week and what you want to accomplish in the next week. Friday afternoons are often the least effective time of the week – why not utilise this time to set you up for success the following week.
“There is not enough time to do all the nothing we want to do” – Bill Watterson
Too often, productivity, time management, and optimisation means we avoid the real question of whether we actually need to be doing the task at all. It’s often much easier to remain busy, to work a little later on a given night than step out of your comfort zone of eliminating a task. Often, you’ll have grown comfortable with doing a task, regardless of whether it’s the best use of your time.
Be strong and make decisions to delete any task not leading you toward your values and your goals. Prioritising a “stop doing” list is as important as a “to-do” list.
Rowena Hubble is a hands-on mother of two, a wife, a friend, an active local community member, and Head of Finance Transformation at ASX-200 company, Metcash. Following the birth of her two children (now teenagers), Rowena was determined not to have to choose between a successful career and success in everything else in life. Through more effective management of her time and energy, she was able to manage the game of life and work.
Based on her own success in re-engineering her workday to create time for life, and researching the best ways to manage time from around the world, last year Rowena self-published a book to share her insights (writing the book whilst working full-time is testament that she clearly does manage her day well).
To purchase a copy of Rowena’s book ‘Re-Engineer Your Workday & Create Time for Life!’ click here.