One of the perks of working at Morgan McKinley is that we can access regular training; online and classroom. When I received an invite for this week’s training, I couldn’t seem to work it into my schedule. I turned to my colleague and remarked, ‘I’m up to my eyeballs, no time for training’. The training topic was ‘time management’. After recognising the irony in my statement, I went back to my calendar and accepted the invitation!

The training was based around Steven Covey’s book; “’The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People’ (read it!).

One challenge in my job is that I can get distracted with various tasks that require my attention. If you are like I was, you may not feel content to leave the office until you respond to all queries. For me, there’s nothing worse then getting home, putting the feet up and suddenly remembering that you have forgotten to respond to a key client or candidate.

“The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot”

Michael Altshuler
Time management matrix
Covey proposes a Time Management Matrix. He suggests that it is an illusion to think that, if you were to complete all of your duties, you would have a better peace of mind. The logic here is, you will never get everything done, so direct your attention at the most important things.

Covey suggests breaking tasks in to four quadrants:

  • Quadrant 1 – Urgent and important
  • Quadrant 2 – Not urgent but important
  • Quadrant 3 – Not important but urgent
  • Quadrant 4 – Not important and not urgent
Don’t be the “busy fool” of your office
The highest performing person in a team may not be the person who is ‘first in, last out’. I look around my office, I can see that all of my colleagues are busy. I also notice that the best consultants make strong use of their time. They have goals; are able to prioritise; they know what the most important tasks are; and they give a lot of effort.
Time management for job seekers
I speak with hiring managers every day and help them draw up job specifications. Almost every job specification I have seen includes the words ‘time management’. As such, the responsibility falls on you to adequately demonstrate time management on your CV, in your interview and in your every day life.
Effective time management sets apart those who do good work and those who really excel. It also plays a hand in how much you enjoy your work; feel fulfilled and keep yourself motivated. This applies right across the board, no matter who you are or what sector you work in.
Four steps to improved time management:
  • Brainstorm – What are your goals? What are you trying to achieve with your time and with your life?
  • Write down a “to do” list and enter them into the matrix
  • Focus your attention on Quadrant One and Two
  • Watch the below video: