Think of strategies and start trying techniques that will improve your time management.
I keep track of:
Was this planned?
All this gives you something to aim towards and will tell you progressively - as you take action - whether that action is having a positive effect.
Which will result in better Time management in the future.
"Tomorrow is always the busiest day of the week." #🌅 Quotes
Prerequisite to all action.
Research, investigation, analysis and testing among others.
The key to decision making
Free standing tasks (major or minor)
Where a series of tasks contribute cumulatively to achieving an overall result.
Monitoring and control
Communicating and dealing with people
Meetings, briefings, emails
I like to go over everything I have to do at the start of the day and plan accordingly.
I use the drag and drop functionality of Amplenote to get the tasks in my Google Calendar which allows me to get notifications and allocate the time for each task.
It's not easy to determine how long it will take you to finish a task - but usually it will take longer than you thought it would.
Try to implement some margin upon your estimation. This will help as you can always be done earlier than your schedule allows.
Time Tracking will give some insight which can help you determine the time you need to complete a similar task in the future.
Clutter free desk = clutter free mind
Working and focussing is hard enough already, I try to make it easier for myself by optimising the things that are within my control, that allow me to maintain focus better.
And this is one of those things.
Your Focus declines while you work, luckily it doesn't take long to recharge this. Make sure you take a break every 25 - 45 minutes.
Is there a longer term route that would be more useful?
Is there some kind of investment that I can do now or soon, that will improve my workflow later.
If so I'll be sure to include it in my tasks in order to further improve my workflow and make it a bit easier for myself.
The fact is, it takes time to achieve perfection, and in any case, perfection may not always be strictly necessary.
Things may need to be undertaken carefully, thoroughly, comprehensively, but we may not need to spend time getting every tiny detail perfect.
This comes hard to those who are naturally perfectionists, and it is a trait that many have at least about some things, but it is necessary to strike a balance.
The key balance to be struck is between quality - the standard to which things are done, and cost and time
It is one that needs to be consciously struck.
Aim for improvement, not for perfection.
Plan -> Reflect -> Repeat
It makes sense to set yourself specific time management goals and to link them to what that will do for you; to give yourself personal satisfaction so that you are very aware that succeeding in what you intend in time terms will make something else possible. Such rewards may be seemingly small and personal (they do not have to make sense to anyone else), but nevertheless an example may make the point.
I like to have some work to do when I travel, and travelling tends to contain quite a number of hours that can be put to good use - on the train and during otherwise wasted moments.
If you can think in this kind of way and give yourself some sort of reward - better still a number of them - then your attention will remain focused on what time management can do for you.
A major outcome of good time management is the ability to fit in projects that might otherwise be delayed, curtailed or omitted. Make such a pet project your reward, work out what is necessary in other areas to achieve it and you are just that much more likely to achieve what you want.