In our travels through the world of online learning, we’ve seen it all when it comes to training and development. One of the things we’ve noticed is that superheroes and ordinary Joes are often separated by one crucial skill – the ability to manage their time effectively.
If you’re one of those people who just can’t seem to get organised, there’s no need to have an anxiety attack. If you only use one time management method, then make it the to-do list. It might seem obvious but this could be the one thing that brings order into your otherwise chaotic life. I know what you’re thinking – ‘writing a to-do list is just another thing to do’, but take five minutes out of your day to add a bit of structure and you’ll be amazed at how far it can take you.
Now, you might think a to-do list is just a list of things to do – and it is – but there are a couple of things you can do to really make it work for you.
1 Write everything down.
Sure, you can try to rely on your brain to remember everything, but you’ll never become a super-productive efficiency machine that way. When you write down everything you need to do, the task of managing your time becomes a thousand times easier. You can write down everything from the largest, seemingly insurmountable tasks to the most minor activity that hardly bears mentioning – once you can physically see them, they will already be less daunting.
Once you have your list of things, it’s time to put them into some kind of order. There are many ways to do this including ABC analysis, Pareto Analysis and the Eisenhower method. It’s up to you to decide which method suits you best but the common thread connecting them all is the importance of prioritising your tasks. Only you know what is most important. If a task has a pressing deadline, that should be at the top of your list.
3 Assign a realistic time frame to each task.
How long will each task take to accomplish? When you’re deciding this, it’s sometimes better to overestimate. The last thing you need is to add undue panic to your already hectic schedule. If you set the bar comfortably (yet not TOO comfortably) low, then you increase your chances of reaching your target. Once you’ve reached your target with time to spare, do yourself a favour and take a break!
4 Challenge yourself.
Although you can reduce stress by creating comfortable time frames, don’t use that as an excuse for laziness. If you want to be the superstar you always knew you could be, you need to challenge yourself sometimes. Remember that bar that we set nice and low? Try nudging it up a little each day – you might be surprised at what you’re capable of!
5 Gamify it.
As with most things, managing your time is more fun when you turn it into a game. We love our gamification here at Growth Engineering and we’ve seen the power of adding game mechanics to non-game scenarios. On our Academy Platform LMS, we use points and levels to track learners’ progress – why not do that with your to-do list? You can create a points system that works for you and create some kind of goal. Whenever you reach that goal, don’t forget to reward yourself!
6 Get social.
As an expansion to gamifying your to-do list, you can add a level of competition by getting everyone else involved. Why not set up a leaderboard in the office and have everybody publicise their progress on a Monday morning? You can make it interesting by offering a prize to whoever tops the leaderboard at the end of a set period.
So stop worrying about the list of tasks in your head that are competing for your attention. Write them down, prioritise them and once you’ve found your feet again, you can turn your simple to-do list into a motivational tool that everyone can benefit from.
Our Academy LMS is the #1 Gamified Social Learning Management System in the world, so we know how powerful gamification can be. We’ve seen how gamified elements like points, rewards and leaderboards can get people engaged and send their motivation into orbit. Don’t just take our word for it – why not add an Academy Tour to your to-do list? Just click this link to get started!