Finding the time - Alison Duddy

Kerry recognises that time is a challenge when considering volunteering and that time management is a skill, so she has asked me to share my thoughts on time management. 

We all have 168 hours each week – no more – no less – and there’s nothing any of us can do to change that!    The only thing we can control is how we spend those hours to ensure we maximise what we achieve doing the things we want to do.   I’m giving you my Top 3 Tips here – all 3 of which I do on a daily basis and which really help me make the most of my 168 hours each week.   Try one or 2 or all of them and see if they help you too!


Take 5 minutes each morning to decide what you’re priorities are for that day.   So often, if we don’t take this tiny moment to think about this, we get straight into reactive mode – the phone rings, you bump into someone and chat, a customer calls you, your phone pings with some notification about something interesting (but probably not important!), an email pops up or you get sucked into the vortex of Facebook ……. Before you know it 3 hours have passed, you’ve been busy, you’ve done lots of things, but ……. what about the things YOU need to do today?   

Chances are your priorities have been overwritten by someone else’s priorities and you’ve done what others are hoping you’ll do without getting on with the critical thing YOU need to do today.    If you don’t consciously prioritise your priorities become defined by other people!


When you’ve thought about your priorities for the day, pick ONE of them – just ONE.   What is the single most important thing you do today?   

Yes I hear you say you have so many important jobs to do, but their time will come, once you’ve done your #1 you can pick the next most important.   So at the start of the day pick ONE thing you must do and just focus on that, above everything else, make sure you do this one thing.


I find this a really effective way of getting my ONE THING done (and also my second and third things quite often too).   

Check your diary, in between all your meetings, appointments and calls, find a time slot to block for your most important task, just put it in your diary :

09:00 - 10:00am     Meeting with Jane

10:00 – 11:00am     MY ONE THING for today

11:00 – 12:00            Conference Call

Doing this means you remove all the excuses why you may not do something.   You can’t say you didn’t have time, something else cropped up, you had to be somewhere else!   It’s a great way of removing other distractions, and giving you the space, time and focus to actually get on and do what’s important for you to have a successful day doing the things that are most important for you!

These are my 3 Top Tips which I have tried and tested and use all the time!   It’s never easy to juggle all the things you’d like to do, but with a bit of focus and a few mechanisms to make it happen it’s certainly possible to feel better about how you’re using your 168 hours each week

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© Alison Duddy – Plan It Do It 2018

Kerry Prest