Time is something you can lose and never get back. You probably even wish that there were more hours available in a day. The solution to this common situation is easier than one might realize. With a few minor adjustments in how you utilize your time, you can better manage your time. There is no such thing as time management; everyone only has 24 hours in a day, so you must manage your priorities. Priority management is something that can change your life on a fundamental basis for the better.
So what is priority management, and time management, and how are they different? Priority management is about maximizing the time we have, and time management the process of organizing, and planning how to divide your time between specific activities. Priority management focuses on prioritizing your work and getting the right things done. Time management focuses on determining your ability to use your time effectively and productively.
Tips to be successful at priority management?
- It’s all about showing up, actively listening, and investing time into the job, or the assignment you have been given.
- It’s all about treating the job, or assignment the way you would want to be treated, and defining your priorities.
How to be successful with priority management?
- Don’t create impossible situations
- Make time your friend not the enemy
- Collect a list of your tasks
- Identify urgent vs. non-urgent
- Assess value
- Be flexible and adaptable
- Start your day looking at your calendar and to-do list
- Turn off distractions and don’t live life by default
- Plan for disruptions
- Only check your emails a few times a day
- Prioritize your work based on the value
What are some ways to make positive changes to be successful in priority management?
- Deal with the cause and talk out the issues
- Plan for change – reduce the shock of change
- Know how to spend your time
- Set priorities
- Get organized
- Schedule your time appropriately
- Delegate – get help with things
- Stop procrastinating
- Avoid multitasking (look into the research, you may think you can, but your brain can only process up to 3 things at a time)
- Stay healthy
What are some tools to use to be successful with priority management?
- Use a planning tool
- Assign a different color for each calendar item personal vs. work
- Use the repeat function on the calendar to mark birthdays, anniversaries, meetings, and reoccurring events
- Use a filing system to keep track of important things
- Set appointments, keep calls brief, meetings scheduled, have an agenda
- Establish a master calendar for the family
What are the levels of priority management?
- P1- Immediate/ critical
- P2- High
- P3- medium
- P4- low
Time management levels
- Critical – S1
- Major- S2
- Minor/ moderate – S3
- Low- S4
Examples of Priority Management
- Strategic planning
Positive outcomes of using Priority Management
- More productive
- More energy for things you need to accomplish
- Feel less stressful
- Able to complete tasks
Let us wrap up by talking about why I chose to write about priority management and how it relates to me. Most of you know that I have autism. Due to my autism, I have struggled with priority management and time management for years. I have had to learn different techniques to not only function with my career but also at home. Somethings that help me with priority management are calendars, phone alarms, organization, planning ahead, and working as a team with my fiancé Rob. Some techniques that Rob has found that work well with me is using a whiteboard, use pictures, and word ques so that I know our schedule for the day, and what is expected of me. Rob also sets up a calendar via our emails so I can see via a visual queue of our schedule, and sets our events in multiple colors to quickly tell what they are. Now that we went over why I chose my topic, how it relates to me, and the special needs kiddos that I’m focusing on, let’s talk about autism and schedules.
Using visual schedules can be very important to help everyone visualize daily plans and tasks. Visible schedules can use pictures to show which activities will occur, and in which sequence. Photographs, images, written words, or physical objects are all different schedule types used for those of us with autism. Some ideas you can use to make the schedules are notebooks, the wall, a schedule board, or on a computer. All of the schedules that I mentioned are schedules that can help decrease the levels of depression, anxiety, and uncertainty in kiddos who have autism. Don’t forget to offer a physical or verbal prompt when working with kiddos on schedules. If the kiddo responds positively to the schedule, provide a praise or reward.
As you can see, time is something you can quickly lose and never get back. However, with a few minor adjustments in how you utilize your time can change how you manage your time. Now that you know the solution is that easy, go out and show the world who you are!