Throughout my life, I’ve always been proud of my ability to multitask, a skill that has been invaluable as a chief editor. After all, time is our most precious resource. When it is managed poorly, chaos ensues. So, real talk? Overseeing a magazine and now two little ones has been HARD. And I know that struggle isn’t unique to me, which is why it’s important to share strategies for getting by.
Some make it look easy. I recently stumbled across a Forbes article by John Rampton, titled “Manipulate Time With These Powerful 20 Time Management Tips.” I’m not going to disclose all of his advice here. But these are the pointers that resonated most with me:
Set a time limit to each task.
As a writer, I can’t always force creativity when it’s convenient. However, if I’m working on an article and doing more staring at a blank computer screen than producing, that tells me I should move on to something else. Rampton suggested putting buffers between tasks and activities, so that if you need a little more time to finish, you can do so without stealing minutes reserved for the next item on your list.
Rampton got this tip from author, entrepreneur and photographer James Clear. If you’re reviewing a sales report, for example, don’t stop to answer emails or check your phone without good reason. Or, maybe you’ve just started a new workout routine—off the clock, of course! Don’t switch to a new program a few days later because you read about it online.
Stop being perfect.
As Clear pointed out, nothing will ever be good enough. That means you’ll keep revisiting the same task. Does that sound productive?
Just say “no.”
This is a tough one for me. We can’t please everyone. If you already have a packed schedule, decline that dinner invitation, and don’t add your name to another project until your to-do list frees up.
We operate in a business climate where everything is needed yesterday and executives are expected to anticipate the challenges of tomorrow. For more information on time management, check out the conversation our associate content editor Joseph Myers had with two sales professionals at the top of their game.
Related story: How to Maximize Each Moment as a Sales Professional