As a leadership consultant, I am privileged to speak and work with many people in multiple sectors locally, nationally, and internationally. One of the common concerns shared by clients is time management. I often hear, “I have too much to do and very little time in which to do it”. In my experience, the anxiety created around an overwhelming workload and fear of workplace reputational consequences is very high. So, when working with clients I use a strategy called ‘The 20-minute phenomenon’. I use this with my clients to help them break down their everyday tasks and or projects into sizeable chunks. This enables them to feel that they are experiencing wins whilst fulfilling steps to completing a task and or project. The goal of the 20-minute phenomenon is to reduce one’s anxiety levels so that people can get on with what they need to do.
To activate ‘The 20-minute phenomenon,’ you need a solid plan. To do this, you must commit 30 minutes at the beginning of your day to map out 20-minute work blocks. (I have a proforma you can use). Now, not knowing your task or project, I have put together a framework you might want to consider.
Step One: Determine three key priorities that must be fulfilled on the day.
Step Two: Break each priority into four parts – urgent, very important, important, and can wait.
Urgent = There is non-negotiation in this space. The task at hand is critical. Start with this!
Very important = The task is still on the priority list requiring attention but is not urgent.
Important = The task needs to be completed today but does not share the priority of the other two levels.
Can wait = This means that the task still needs to be undertaken on the day but can be done later.
Once the priorities and tasks are allocated with their respective times, all you need to do is meet your 20-minute targets.
Have a go, and let me know!