Persistence Beats Resistance!

Good management of your time leads to being productive and achieving your work goals. It sounds like a simple element to get right, but the art of management of your time is something that many of us need to work more on.

The good news is that processes and structure are a real asset to help you manage your workload and deadlines. Let’s look at the challenges that may be stopping you from maximising the use of your time and how you can address them.


While there are tools and tricks to manage your time, the key to success is having the discipline to work on tasks yourself, instead of relying on a team leader to train you or tell you what to do.

Simple tools and practices can help you, including apps that track tasks, deadline and priorities. The enjoyment of seeing goals being ticked off the list usually leads to inspiration to continue with other tasks. And do make sure you take some time to relax and congratulate yourself with small incentives for accomplishing your goals.


One of the best ways to master time-management is mastering the ability to understand what critical tasks need to be achieve within a certain timeframe. By listing what needs to be done and by when and estimating the amount of effort required for each one, you’ll be able to set yourself a schedule of tasks.

Some tasks may rely on others to provide the information first, so you’ll need to ensure that you request information from them well ahead of your deadline. And if you know that you are better at achieving more difficult jobs in the morning, then prioritise those when you start work and leave the easier ones for later in the day.

Step by step

We have all been in a situation where we’ve put something off until the last minute and then we find ourselves in strife with a looming and often unachievable deadline. Procrastination happens for many reasons – the task might be difficult, tedious or unpleasant. It may also cause you anxiety or involves making decisions that you are uncomfortable doing.

A useful way to get started on something you are resisting doing is to break the task down into manageable steps and giving yourself a deadline for each one. You may want to begin with a few easier elements to get you into the swing of things and give you a sense of achievement.

Letting go

Ensuring you are conducting a job correctly is essential to doing a good job, but often striving for perfectionism leads to too much time being spent on things. Soon a backlog piles up which creates anxiety and may often hold up others being able to carry out their responsibilities.

Perfectionism can also manifest itself in an inability to delegate tasks to a team member. Learning to know when you have completed something well enough or when you should hand it over to someone else is an important step in using your time well.


It can be difficult to concentrate and focus – from people popping over to your desk, to the phone ringing, emails and instant messages.

As much as you love your mobile, it is one of our biggest distractors. When you need to get a task done, put your phone away where you can’t see messages pop up. Turn off your email notifications and mark yourself as unavailable in messenger apps.

Some people have a regular time they do this every day and factor this into their calendar at a time that works best. And if your work environment is distracting, a change of scenery can work wonders. Is there a meeting room you can book out and go to or another part of the house which is more private?

Stick to one task

Surely being able to juggle multiple tasks is a good thing as you’ll get more things done. Unfortunately no, when you switch tasks, it takes the brain more than 20 minutes to refocus. You will in fact achieve more by taking the time and having the discipline to work on just one task.

Saying no

Although aspiring to help people is good, you need to draw the line in some areas. Saying no can be difficult, especially if you have to say it in person or it is someone you respect but being able to do this is critical to good time management.

If you’re so busy trying to please others, when will you have time to achieve your own goals?

There is no magic wand to help you with this one, it’s a matter of practicing saying no with people when you are in the situation. People will understand that you can’t take on everything as we all need to say no in our lives.

Embrace technology

The digital age has provided us with excellent tools to help us manage our time. Using apps like Trello or Google Calendar Tasks can not only organise your day and your tasks, but also organise your brain.

Seeing what you need to achieve set out in front of you with deadlines can help you create a workable schedule, plus your brain will start to adapt to working with a system like this. Apps are also a great motivator as there’s nothing more satisfying than clicking ‘complete’ on a task.

The challenges above will resonate differently with all of us. Understanding which of the areas are stopping you achieve task completion on time and to spec is the first step. Putting these tips into play in a self-disciplined way will improve your productivity, confidence and stress levels. Remember Persistence Beats Resistance!

Author: Peter Robinson
Team Leadership Services