Time is precious – use it productively and efficiently.The following are ideas from the book ‘Time Management’ by Martin Scott which is a great read. If you’re interested further, there are a plethora of books (check your University library) and internet resources on time management.
- Plan your:
- next 5 years
- next 10 years etc.
- Know your long-term goal. Then work backwards to determine how to use your time most effectively to achieve it.
- Each morning, choose your priority for the day. Each evening, reflect on whether you achieved it and plan for the following day.
- Prioritise meaningful, impactful tasks (e.g. grant writing) over simple yet plentiful tasks (e.g. replying to emails). Do the simple tasks quickly at the end of the working day or at the time of day when you are at your least productive (e.g. after lunch).
- Do not get into the habit of staying late at work. Do not confuse activity with productivity.
- Set an alarm 5 minutes before a meeting is due to start so that you can work up until it. Ask to be excused from meetings which are not relevant to you or to leave after the relevant section is over.
- Do not procrastinate either starting and/or finishing a project. Accept that ‘done is better than perfect’. Break large intimidating tasks down into smaller more manageable sub-tasks and set deadlines for these.
- Keep your desk and inbox uncluttered. Work in a space which is free from distractions.
- Revisit material which you need to learn on a daily basis (making notes) until you have committed it to memory.