“Multi-tasking and time-management are enemies!”

Making the most of the time we have as leaders and managers — boosting resilience in the real world!

How can you move things forward when time is short?

The big question is “How can we work smarter instead of harder” with our available time? Building resilience in the REAL world!

Here are 3 ideas about how you could build resilience by taking hold of the reins and start to steer yourself in a more positive direction:

I have been tackling my time management because I was whizzing around and jumping between tasks, the result was, I felt stressed out, I was not making time for people I needed to support and encourage and I felt I was not really making the best use of the time available.

“Good time management is not just ticking a box”. How can we boost the quality of our day? Can we achieve a good work-life balance and how could our staff and teams access us — or do we have “too much to do” so we give the impression we cannot spare time for them? Surely this is not how we want to be seen?

Number 1: Build in some time when you do not allow multi-tasking — just because everyone else is doing it, doesn’t mean it is effective!

Effective Voluntary and Health and Social Care Managers are facing increasing pressure, growing demands on our time, sometimes it feels like entering a battleground and we just crawl through the week. I am sure we want to thrive, not survive! Is multi-tasking working for us?

What is multi-tasking: (1) Performing two or more tasks simultaneously (2) Switching back and forth from one thing to another (3) Performing a number of tasks in rapid succession. Is this efficient or does it hinder you from getting things done?

“Being productive is a result of good time management!”

Is multi-tasking productive though? I am beginning to think that it is just not helpful at all most of the time. Losing time flitting from one activity to another, moving endlessly from one task to another — sometimes I use this busyness to avoid some really important things — projects or people!

The executive mental control of the brain (how it establishes priorities between tasks and allocates resources to them), does not perform most efficiently when we multi-task. My brain needs all the help it can get but perhaps I am working against it! See this research for more information: https://www.apa.org/monitor/oct01/multitask

Multi-tasking is highly inefficient, instead we should block out time, moving from one task to another fewer times — this prevents the loss of efficiency. Put a block of time in your diary to step-up in time management

If you want to get more done, stop multi-tasking — at least for some of the time! Make some time to work through your tasks systematically.

Number 2: A tool to help you fight multi-tasking — The Pomodoro Technique (do less, achieve more)

“Saying ‘I’m so busy’ is nothing to be proud of, it’s an admission of chaos!”

The Pomodoro Technique — a valuable tool in the battle against multi-tasking and it can achieve the following:

· Reduce anxiety linked to beginning an activity or task

· Enhance focus and concentration by cutting down on interruptions

· Increase awareness of your decisions

· Boost motivation and keep it constant

· Strengthen the determination to achieve your goals

· Refine the quality and quantity of work you accomplish

· Improve your work or study processes

· Build your resolve to keep on applying yourself in the face of complex situations

Interested? Well how does it work? The idea is that you focus on one task at a time, for no longer than 25 minutes and when the time is up, you take a 5 minute break (a Pomodoro). Every 4 Pomodoros take a longer break, (15–30 minutes).

Use a timer on your computer like the online timer: https://tomato-timer.com/ or even a kitchen timer — whichever you like most.

It’s amazing how much you can get done in 25 minutes, and also how long that 25 minute time period feels. Don’t fall into the trap of checking your emails mid-way or jumping onto Social Media, just one task for 25 minutes.

I am using it for blocks of time each week because I have some tasks I need to get through that I have been avoiding, so far, I have seen how well it works and also perhaps some of its limitations (but it is one great tool you can use):

Advantages: (1) More efficient — I know the clock is ticking so I just get on with the job and I have also been looking for smarter ways to get it done so that I can complete it before time runs out! (2) I am dividing my time more evenly across a range of complex tasks which means I am not just selecting the work I want to do (3) Less stressful, I work hard for a set time and take a break — I can always return to the task if it doesn’t get completed.

Drawbacks: (1) It might be difficult if you have a lot of interruptions at work — it is better to use if you can block out some time and let people know you don’t want to be disturbed (2) You could run out of time on a task just as you were really getting into it (3) It is a little pressurised — you can see the clock counting down but it is energising and makes it fun and more of a challenge!

This is definitely very helpful, I would recommend you try it and see for yourself the dramatically improved outcomes.

Number 3: Spot the time thieves — and get them under control!

“Saying ‘no thanks’ boosts your time management muscles!”

Make a list of the activities you do each day — checking emails, looking at Social Media, attending a meeting, talking to people on your team, administration — how much time are they taking and does this fit with your best hopes for the day? Continually checking emails, could you block out some time each day (9 am, 11 am, 2 pm and 4 pm) and set aside 25 minutes to finish this? Otherwise you will have lost an hour of your time being distracted. Social Media can be amusing (or for some of us, part of our marketing strategy at work) — but why not schedule in a set time to do it rather than ending up daydreaming and fail to write the post you intended?

(You might see some quotes and wonder who wrote them? They are Julie originals because I think we all have our own ideas about life and why do we need to copy someone else? Why don’t you create your own quotes — you might be famous one day and then everyone will use them)!! Share them around to add value to others.

If you are a leader in the Voluntary or Health and Social Care Sector, would you like to meet for a gift of a resilience-building coaching session with me to think about how you manage your time, to look at some coaching tools and see if it would help you to make progress? I would very much like to meet you and spend time with you. Message me to set up a Zoom chat. Looking forward to meeting you.

Alternatively, visit my website for details: www.juliebcoaching.co.uk or you can find me on LinkedIn. See you soon.



I am a solution-focused coach and writer, encouraging female leaders, managers and business owners to Work Smarter Not Harder and raise hopefulness.

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Julie Buckingham

I am a solution-focused coach and writer, encouraging female leaders, managers and business owners to Work Smarter Not Harder and raise hopefulness.