Work, gym, study, meditation and friends. You can’t help but stare in awe at people who can fit everything into their day, especially when you are just scrambling to meet that deadline. It always feels like there is never enough time in the day, but perhaps it is because we are not managing our time well. We can all do with some improvements in our time management so that we are productive and stress free.

As we graduate university to begin our careers, effective time management is going to be a crucial skill in the workplace. Research shows that there is a huge gap between employer expectations and the reality of graduate attributes, especially in these three key skills; written and oral communication, problem solving and time management.

Over the last couple of months, the library has examined the important soft skills needed for graduates. Take a look at our recommendations for videos to watch on LinkedIn Learning to improve your communication and problem-solving skills. However, time management, which has not been covered, is an extremely valuable skill, which will build your reputation as a highly employable worker.

We recommend the gem of a LinkedIn Learning course, ‘Getting Things Done,’ which is the name of the time management method created by David Allen; a world-renowned productivity expert. This video teaches you how to not only manage your time but also how to manage your focus and attention, so you are a productive employee.

As David is an excellent public speaker and the method is well established, this course is very much worth your while! He frames effective time management around five key actions; capture, clarify, organise reflect and engage.

David first recommends that we empty our mind of whatever has our attention; get that birthday present, finish that report; and write is all down. This process of a ‘mind sweep’ captures our priorities on paper, so our mind is de-cluttered.

These priorities now need to be processed, which is clarifying. David explains that the task, ‘finish that report’ is too general so the to-do list should be more specific. You can apply three actions to a task; do, delegate and defer. If a task takes less than two minutes do it right now! Next, can the task be delegated to someone else?

And finally defer; organise the rest of the tasks that you have to do. Organise your tasks as an actions list and by context, for example, meetings, errands and agendas list. If you identify what the tasks mean, the list is less overwhelming.

Finally, it is vital that we engage with the tasks. You don’t have to necessarily work faster or harder but sometimes engagement may look like stepping back and reflecting. David even recommends a nap to refocus (I know!!), so you can make a more trusted decision.

Getting Things Done is a fantastic resource for you to re-evaluate how you organise your work and life. These steps have the potential to become a lifestyle change so you can get a hold of your stress and time management. Transform how you manage your tasks on LinkedIn Learning so you become a job-ready graduate!

We’d love to hear your feedback on this great new tool! Send your comments to Ask the Library.

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