With Christmas approaching and so many other things to do, it’s easy to become overwhelmed with the challenges of multitasking. I had a chat with local coach Zoë Whitby of ZW Coaching recently and she shared her top five tips for being as effective as you can at this busy time.
Tip 1 – Know your priorities
Aside from family, we all have goals we want to achieve and knowing what’s most important to move forward helps us to focus our efforts when we’re short of time. Zoë suggested using these headings to think about where you are and what the ideal is in each of these areas before deciding some goals and identifying the actions that will move you forward:
- Career or volunteering
- Health and fitness
- Love – your significant relationships
- Wider family and friends
- Growth – personal development and learning
- Leisure – holidays, hobbies
- Home – your living environment
Tip 2 – Use your energy patterns
We all have different times of the day when we tend to feel ready to tackle more challenging activities. Work out when you are at your best and use these times to power through some of the more meaty tasks. If you’re feeling tired or ‘off colour’ stick with routine things if you can – or identify some activities on your list that you know will energise you. Something that involves getting outside or a change of environment often works.
Tip 3 – What can you do with the children?
Some of the things you will want to do on a routine basis or as part of your bigger projects could be interesting to work on with your kids around. There are lots of things you can’t do with the Small People around, but there are some things you can – try and work out what they might be for you. Zoe suggests you could sit alongside them while they are colouring or playing and be working with pens and paper yourself shaping your plans, writing lists or making notes on your phone. Giving the children a role on shopping trips, planning a route around town or ticking things off a list can sometimes keep them distracted. Allowing them to “help” clean or garden helps to keep them interested while you get on and helps them learn life skills for when it’s time for them to do it themselves.
Tip 4 – Buy yourself some time?
Some tasks may need concentration or be inappropriate to do while children are around – phonecalls that you do not want interrupted, tasks involving machinery that could be a danger, present wrapping etc. Seek out buddies who you can arrange timeswaps with – you benefit from some time on your own and you reciprocate by looking after their kids.
Tip 5 – Keep notes and review daily
Parents brains get so full of things that need to be done and we can’t expect to have superhuman powers of memory. Zoë’s tip is to use your phone notes or a paper pad to jot down things you think of while you’re out and about so that you can review and add to your wider task list later. Make reviewing and re-prioritising part of your daily routine – either first thing in the morning or in the evening ready to get a quick of the blocks start the following day.
If you are at work, Zoë has a Top 10 Tips guide to working smarter which you can download at the following link: https://www.kulahub.net/forms/webform/330?cl=671
If you’d like to know more about how a coach can work with you to help you move forward in gaining confidence or achieving certain goals, contact Zoë@zwcoaching.co.uk for a no obligation chat.
There are lots of helpful articles on Zoë’s blog at www.zwcoaching.co.uk.
Hope these tips have helped a little with the time management in the run up to the big day! I think ‘knowing your energy patterns’ is a great one. I’m always better on a morning than an evening and knowing that’s a good time for me to crack on helps me focus my day!
The Small Boy seems to have the gist of how things are panning out though, he told pre-school today that the Christmas Tree doesn’t go up until Christmas Day! He’s got the measure of what’s what around here at the moment! Ha!
Disclaimer: This was a guests post by Zoe Whitby without obligation from me.