It’s the end of the world as we know it! Or at least according to the ancient Mayan calendar it is anyway.  Our Meso-American chums predicting that the apocalypse will arrive on 21 December.  So with the imminent threat of worldwide devastation looming, it’s more important than ever to adhere to Benjamin Franklin’s great ole sentiment of ‘don’t put off until tomorrow, what you could do today!’.

Effective time management can help to ease workload stresses, motivate and improve the general happiness of your workplace – not to mention increasing overall productivity.

Let’s face it, most people’s to do list is longer than ever at this time of year with preparations for Christmas piled on top of your normal workload and the possibility of having to cover for colleagues off sick with the winter lurgy.  But out of your long list of imperative tasks, what should you focus on completing first?  Let’s take a brief look at business guru Dr. Stephen Covey’s expert advice on how to prioritise your actitivies.

Dr Covey identifies two main forms of activity:

  • Important activities directly leading to the achievement of your personal goals
  • Urgent activities demand your attention, and need to be completed immediately.

It’s natural to want to focus on the time-limited urgent activities, but Covey explains that urgency is not necessarily the most important aspect of a task’s value.  You might have an urgent appointment to get your watch fixed – but that’s not that important in the face of the looming apocalypse, is it?  Stockpiling your underground shelter with tins of spam and pineapple chunks on the other hand…..

In his famous ‘Time Management Matrix’ that you can download from our resources page, the good Doctor Covey provides a helpful grid to help you analyse and prioritise the tasks that are most important for you to get done.

If you don’t buy into the Mayan prediction that the end of the world is neigh (or you’re reading this after 21 December 2012), and you want to learn more strategies for getting the most out of your working day, including how to stop collecting other people’s ‘monkeys’ then click here to read more about our up-coming time management training day.