Setting Priorities and Managing Time (Dr Sara Shinton)

Updated: Jan 27

This post supports a time management workshop for the UKRI Future Leader Fellows Development Network. A full recording of the workshop will be available to members of the network on our website, and you can review the slides here: Bridging 3 – Priorities and Time I suspect many of those attending the workshop and reading this now will have already been on many time management workshops. I spent many years going to workshops and hoping for a magic wand to “fix” things before realising that any time management solution has to be tailored for the specific problem experienced by the individual. I also realised that some of my time management problems were a consequence of the behaviours and choices that made me successful. A better approach is to recognise that there are at least three stages to improving your time management.

  1. Investing time in REALLY understanding what choices you are making about how to spend your time and reflecting on what you can change and are willing to, and then which aspects of your time management problems are about your environment and people around you.

  2. Looking at the various time management tips and advice and working out which are the best solutions for your situation

  3. Working to embed these new approaches in your work habits

Number 3 is the toughest for me – my good intentions evaporate and I find myself back in overload. The session looks at all three aspects and shares a lot of tips from other researchers.

Supporting the session are a number of resources and recommended links: Mapping your time: I’ve posted a number of versions of time mapping sheets in other blogs on the topic of time management, productivity etc, so here’s a few options: - Basic TIME LOG - Time Logs with Happy or Sad column - Time management – about me or about others - Shape of day

And if you are concerned about things drifting and what to prioritise/who to ask for help:

- Risk Register

If you want to have some structure to the suggested daily review:

- Review of day

I’ve previously put all these thoughts into a time management guide which is openly available and includes a completed version of the “about me or about others” grid. Ten Tips for Time Management: (you can see another session on these here):

  1. Prioritise important stuff

  2. Minimise distractions

  3. Create deadlines

  4. Improve environment

  5. Know your energy rhythm

  6. Minimise other people’s work

  7. Use margins of time

  8. Notice set backs to plans

  9. Manage demands from others