This Week on CLIMB: Secrets To Better Time Management

Have you ever wished you had more time in the day? Or more time to get to the things you love doing the most? It's possible with better time management.

Emily Cannata is a Pharmacy Business Coach and Professor of Business. She's also an expert in the art of time management. What's her secret? This month on CLIMB, Emily is sharing her best strategies for forming healthy time management habits. 

This CLIMB episode is for anyone who ever wished they had more time in their day. Emily's approach is actionable and her presentation is filled with great resources for busy professionals. Watch it here, or read on for a written synopsis.


Secrets to Better Time Management

A Note on Discipline

"Through discipline comes freedom." -Aristotle

Emily recounts one of the hardest concepts for her students and coaching clients to grasp when it comes to time management: discipline. But it's true; getting disciplined in how you operate each and every day is the secret to having the freedom you long for. You get to choose your daily path, so keep discipline at the forefront when starting your journey to better time management.

1. Know Thyself

It's time to take a good hard look at yourself in the mirror and get real honest - because honest self-reflection is a key first step toward making smarter time management decisions. You don't want to do battle with yourself every day, so be as realistic as possible about what you are able and willing to do - and what you know in your heart you really won't.  

Self-Assessment Time! Want to see where you currently stand on the time management balancing scale? Check out these free resources below!

2. Create Simple & Easily Adaptable Processes

The best way to set yourself up for success on your journey to better time management is to create a plan that is simple and easily adaptable into your schedule. Some of Emily's top tips for this include: 

  • Calendars: In most cases, this will be a calendar that is tied to an email account, such as Outlook or Gmail. If you intend to use multiple calendars to organize your schedule, be sure to share them across your various accounts so that you can see everything in one place. 

  • Write It Down: If you're someone who needs to physically write things down to remember them, using a notebook, journal or planner to stay organized might be a better option for you. If you're an out of sight, out of mind kind of person, you may find more success using a whiteboard to keep track of things. 

  • CRM (Customer Relationship Management): If you already utilize CRM software, this could be a helpful method for managing your schedule. There are many CRM resources out there, so if you're not currently using one but are interested in learning more, check out one of our favorites here.

  • Apps: Just like CRMs, there are a plethora of time management apps to choose from. If you're constantly on your mobile device, and like having notifications pop up to remind you about things throughout the day, this might be a good solution for you!

  • Reminders: Setting digital reminders and alarms on your phone or work computer is an excellent strategy to keep you on schedule.

Whatever process(es) you choose, Emily's best words of advice are this: Keep it easy; keep it simple; be realistic; and be consistent! 

3. Make Planning a (Healthy) Habit

If you want long-term success when it comes to time management, you need to form healthy planning habits. What is one thing you absolutely love doing? Maybe it's escaping to a cozy coffee shop, getting out on the golf course, a trip to the spa, traveling, retail therapy, or going to see a movie. Whatever it is, try to incorporate a planning session the next time you're doing that thing. Planning won't feel like a dreaded task when it's done while simultaneously doing something that brings you joy. Positive reinforcement is an excellent way to make planning a consistent part of your life. 

4. Give Yourself Grace (It's A Mindset!)

Any time you're doing something new, it's going to be a little stressful. There's going to be a learning curve, an adjustment period, some growing pains, and some frustration. It's okay to hold yourself accountable throughout the process and strive to be the best you can be, but you don't want to sabotage your efforts by being too hard on yourself. Remember: You cannot control or predict what will happen, but you CAN control how you react and respond to it!

Some of Emily's top tips for avoiding burnout and frustration include: 

  • Separate personal & professional when possible.
  • Start with deadlines, due dates, and consistent appointments.
  • Include blocks of time in your schedule for special projects, important meetings, and planning.
  • Give yourself permission to be flexible and roll with the punches.
  • Build in time for exercise, relaxation, entertainment, and self-care. 

5. Evaluate Progress

Evaluating your progress can sometimes be a scary task, especially if you struggle with giving yourself grace. It can also be daunting when it feels like yet another task on your never-ending task list. Never fear, though, because Emily has an action plan for making self-evaluation a consistent part of your time management strategy. She recommends setting up evaluation sessions after 1 month, 3 months, and 6 months. If at all possible, go back to your happy place from Step 3 every time you evaluate your progress! Then, answer the following questions objectively and honestly: 

  • What are you proud of?
  • What do you want to stop doing?
  • What do you want to continue doing?
  • Is there anything to add to your time management strategy?
  • What do you want to start doing?

It might be helpful to write your thoughts down during these sessions to better track your progress. Be sure to adjust your time management strategy to align with your answers, and watch your success skyrocket! 

6. Pass It On

Ah, the student becomes the teacher! As you gain confidence on your time management journey, share your newfound knowledge with those around you. Use this as a team-building exercise, or even a conversation-starter when spending time with family and friends. Utilize the free assessments from Step 1, as well as these other helpful resources: 

So, what are your thoughts? Do you think Emily's secrets to success will help you on your journey to better time management? Let us know your favorite takeaways in the comments!

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