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Prioritising work and time


Effective time, and self-management, results in you being more productive (not necessarily busy!), with improved results and relationships. Personal effectiveness also results in managing/reducing stress levels and improved work relationships with all stakeholders, internal and external. 

Time is a unique, limited resource. Everyone has the same amount; it cannot be accumulated, you can’t turn it off, you can’t replace it. It is how best we use our time. 

Time like other resources, benefit from planning, and we can learn to manage it better. Time management is a very personal thing and must fit your style and circumstances.

We cannot really manage time; we can only manage ourselves in relation to time. We can only control how we use time. Time management is actually about self-management (which is one of the foundation skills of emotional intelligence)

Self-management means also managing our energy (cognitive/brain and physical/body) for productivity, peak performance and wellbeing.

Be mindful and ask yourself in the moment (numerous times in the day) – what is the best use of my time right now – given my priorities and my energy? What do I need to adjust – my priorities/tasks that I am doing? (where possible) or my energy?

Check-in with yourself (body/brain) regularly. This is the essence of resilience and wellbeing.

How we feel impacts our decisions, behaviour and performance. We are not always conscious of how we feel until we stop, pause and notice.

Only then, from the awareness state, should we take appropriate action. Some examples:

  • whether we choose to hit send on an email
  • choose consciously to step away
  • take a few deep breaths
  • know when we are tired, overloaded or overwhelmed and need a break, instead of keep working
  • catch ourselves procrastinating or multitasking

Busy does not always equal productive! We need to work smart, not hard! We overload our brains with mental clutter, cognitive overload, meetings, technology, notifications, email etc.

Manage your boundaries and with others. Give yourself (and others) permission to pause regularly.

Author: Wendy Jocum

For more than 30 years, Wendy Jocum has been involved in the field of HR, learning and development, organisational psychology, facilitation and coaching. Her workshops are practical, informative, engaging and experiential.

Wendy is passionate about people development. She inspires people to achieve their potential, while enhancing individual, team and organisational performance.

She has numerous qualifications in commerce/business, leadership, management, HR, training, assessment, coaching, and is accredited and certified in various psychometric tools for individual and team development.

Register for our upcoming three-part Westco Academy series on 'Prioritising work and managing time like a pro' online with Wendy Jocum on 23 Sep, 30 Sep and 7 Oct 2021 from 9.30am – 11am each day.

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