The art of effective time management can seem elusive to many...
In many ways, time management is an art form. Some may argue against this idea because time can be measured objectively. We all have 24-hours in a day, and that’s a fact not easily open to subjective personal opinion. However, for many adults struggling with managing their time on any given day, it truly can seem like an elusive art form. Or, maybe the equivalent of staging a rocket launch without directions, particularly if you’re an adult with ADHD. The issue of time management and difficulty with focus certainly go hand-in-hand for many adults.
If you’re someone who seemingly has tried everything to manage your time more effectively without consistent results, you’re certainly not alone. The team at Time Timer is providing inspiration for adults determined to hone their time management skills once and for all. You may need to try a few different approaches to find what works for you, but you can do it.
The 4Ds of Time Management
This concept originally was introduced in the book titled, The Power of Focus, by authors Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, and Les Hewitt. Originally written to help address the challenges of project managers in the workplace, the 4Ds of Time Management concept could apply to nearly everyone. Because really, we’re all project managers in all aspects of our lives! The authors’ messages and guidance centers around separating “fake urgent” tasks from “highly important ones”, in order to regain time control. It’s a popular method that’s proven helpful to many people.
So, what are the 4Ds of Time Management?
If you’re ready to learn more about the 4Ds of Time Management, here is the overall framework of this approach:
- DO: Work on tasks that take only a few minutes to complete. The name of the game here is momentum, not necessarily motivation. The feeling of success in completing and accomplishing a series of smaller tasks can lead to working on larger projects. Need to return a phone call or email? Do it now. When you need some structure to help keep yourself focused, set a visual timer with a goal to spend a certain amount of time tackling lots of little things.
- DEFER (Delay): If a task presents itself unexpectedly, or something non-urgent that’s been on your list for some time, schedule time for it (defer) when you have availability. This helpful tactic is focused on halting a start-and-stop cycle that tends to de-rail so many of us.
- DELEGATE: When you have a list of things in front of you that needs attention, consider where others can jump in and help. This “D” applies equally well in the workplace and at home! When delegating, consider which tasks require your expertise for successful completion. Usually, there are tasks that can be addressed by anyone with equivalent results.
- DELETE (Drop): We all know there are some things that can simply be eliminated from your attention. You likely already know what these things are in your work and personal life. Don’t let these things distract you from what really matters. Because when your day is less cluttered, time management becomes much easier.
Find a time management strategy that works for your life!
There are millions of time management tips out there. If you begin researching the topic, you may find the sheer quantity of suggestions to be overwhelming. Of course, this only makes you lose focus. Here are a few more great time management tips from Time Timer!
Stop procrastinating. We’ve all been guilty of procrastination at one time or another. If you’re a perfectionist, it may play a particularly large role in your day-to-day life. If you struggle with this, set a visual timer for 15 minutes. When the timer beeps (and Time Timer visual timer's colored disc disappears), get to it! You’ll likely be surprised at how little time and effort it took to complete that task you didn’t want to do.
- Minimize distractions! You know that phone sitting next to you? It’s full of tempting distractions. Among those distractions – online shopping apps, social media, YouTube, and so much more. If you have a critical task that must be completed, remove your phone from the room. Or, if there’s an app on your phone that’s particularly distracting, move it to the last “page” of your home screen. It will no longer be front-and-center.