time management questionsAfter you take a  great time management workshop or read an excellent time management book, then the HARD part comes – making the change!

All those new concepts sounded great, but somehow when we get back to our desk the next day, we fall into the same patterns of work we are used to and little changes.

Here are 5 key time management questions to ask BEFORE you do that next task that can help you become more aware in your work so you can make changes.

5 Time Management Questions To Facilitate Change

  1. Am I tracking my time?
  2. Could this task be dumped?
  3. Did I delegate first?
  4. It this task towards my most important desired outcomes?
  5. Is this the HIGHEST priority task I can do right now.

Lets look at why these are important and what I mean by them.

Am I tracking my time?

time trackingWhy track your time? Time is like money. If you don’t monitor where it goes, it gets wasted. Tracking your time. has two main benefits. It  finds the time “leaks” where time gets wasted and it helps you make sure your time is spent on your highest priority outcomes. For example, if you said marketing was your most important task this week but only 10% of your time was spent on marketing this week, you have identified a serious problem.

Once of the simplest time tracking tools I have found for beginners is Toggl.

Could this task be dumped?

In my time management consulting business, I see how a lot of people work. And I am constantly amazed at how many useless tasks have managed to creep into our work day. Tasks that were holdovers from old systems and managers that just aren’t relevant any more.

Ask yourself – is this a task that I get recognized for or that generates more income? Will anyone notice if I stop doing it?

Did I delegate first?

delegate tasks firstIf some of the work you do involved delegating to other staff, freelancers or others, delegate first. This way, all those other people are continuing to move the projects forward while you work. If you wait to delegate, everything is held up. One of my tricks when I am way behind is to spend 10-15 minutes on each project and get all the parts that can be delegated out to the right people.

Even if you aren’t a manager, sometimes you are dependent on outside information before you can proceed. In this case, “delegation” is  first requesting the information from these others as it might take time to get the information.

Another alternative if you don’t have staff you can delegate to is to use freelancers to do the work. Freelancers let you quickly get tasks done without having to hire staff. This lets you ramp up up to tak on more work quickly, without having long term costs.

It this task towards my most important desired outcomes?

Ever go into a grocery store for 1 thing such as milk and come out with a couple of bags of groceries but NO milk? Smile Yup, me too.

We had a clear goal in mind (milk) but somehow we let all the aisles of food choices seduce us away from our task.

Our work day is the same way. You may start with a clear goal in mind, but find at the end of a day, week month or even year that you didn’t really spend time on that important outcome.

When choosing your next task, choose the ones towards your most important outcomes first,

Is this the HIGHEST priority task I can do right now?

top priorityThis goes along with  making sure you are working towards your outcomes but can be different as you might have high priority tasks for the day that are not towards long term outcomes.

Once again work on your highest priority first until it is complete, then move to the next one.

Have a questioning mind

Until you have the questioning habit mastered, write these questions down  on a sticky note and stick them to your computer monitor or somewhere in your workspace where you will look before each task.

You will asking these questions before each task will really keep you on track.

More help

Need more help? Just contact me. I can coach you or work with your entire organization to improve your productivity and your work day.