One of the areas I work on most frequently with my clients is prioritisation and productivity. How can they work smarter and not harder, gaining more from the hours they commit rather than having to commit more hours.
I'm not aware of many charities that insist their staff record their hours like some firms of solicitors, every block of 15 minutes has to be accountable and (usually) chargeable. But have you ever tried doing so? If you haven't I'd encourage you to try it, even if its just for one day - the results might surprise you!
But, whilst its an interesting exercise, its not practical and is quite difficult to do. In the last few months I've been working on a much simpler version which helps clients identify where their time is spent AND which has an emphasis on their mental wellbeing too.
Rather than recording exactly what they're doing and for how long, instead I've asked them to categorise the work or activity as one of:
success in the future;
safe & legal; and
Anything that does not fit in one of these categories is classed as a time thief and has to physically be put in a file marked time thief!
I am also encouraging them to make an effort to undertake at least one activity which falls in the wellbeing category every day
Four of my coachees are currently using this model and have seen huge changes to the way they're spending their time and on how productive their days are. The Time Thief files are getting bigger. In our next session, we're going to go through the time thief files and categorise those so that they're "off our books" forever.
With so much going on in my own working and home life, I've been trying to 'practice what I preach' but, as someone who likes to see visual representations and to have things colour-coded, I've finally got round to creating a one-page checker, which is now printed and stuck on my wall.
It's available here to download if you want a copy too!