Does it constantly feel like you’re fighting a losing battle with your to-do list? You’re not alone. With tasks, emails and meetings making those elusive ticks harder and harder to come by, how can we make the most of our working hours to ensure we make positive strides in our jobs and maintain a healthy work-life balance too?
We asked 4 beauty industry pros for their top time management tips to find out how they make the most of their working days. From forward-planning to delegation, ways to boost energy levels to managing yours and your boss’s expectations, let their advice act as ample inspiration for juggling work, life and health to keep work-related stress to a minimum.
Jo Malone MBE, Founder of Jo Loves
“I make a ‘to-do’ list every morning while sitting in bed with a cup of tea – it’s the one moment in the day that’s calm! Because I don’t have a 9-5 role, my list is always a mix of professional and personal things which ensures nothing gets missed. I write everything down and set myself deadlines. I’ve even got an urgent column! I’ve learnt that to achieve everything it’s important that you don’t let things drift.
“To be successful you have to delegate…or at least try to delegate! It’s so much more effective to focus on things that you do brilliantly and rely on your team or the people around you for everything else. Don’t ever be intimidated if you can’t do something – it’s important to remember that you can’t be all things to all people!”
Follow Jo on Twitter @JoMaloneMBE . www.joloves.com .
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Alice Hart-Davis, Beauty Journalist and creator of Good Things Skincare
1. “Plan your week: Take five minutes on Sunday evening or Monday morning to sit down with your diary and look at what is coming up before it all starts up and sweeps you away. Then, even if your schedule is the sort that changes every few hours, you will have a rough idea of what lies ahead.”
2. “Be realistic: The next step is to think about what you realistically can manage to do in the time available. Studies have shown that what we actually get done is always, always far less than what we think, hope or expect we are going to be able to achieve. It’s just the nature of life. So don’t set unrealistic targets then beat yourself up when you don’t reach them.”
3. “Prioritise: It helps to divide your to-do list according to Stephen Covey’s Time Management Matrix into Important (the things you WANT to do – career goals, vocational stuff) versus Urgent (the things you HAVE to get done).
Urgent and Important
Important but not urgent
Urgent but not important
Not urgent and not important
“It’s tricky, but it helps you not to lose sight of the things that really matter to you.”
4. “Learn to say no to anything you’re asked to do that isn’t directly useful or helpful to you. Yes, it’s hard, particularly if you are a natural people-pleaser, but ultimately it benefits you greatly.”
5. “And very important, don’t let work take over the rest of your life.”
Follow Alice on Twitter @AliceHartDavis . www.alicehartdavis.com .
Bridget March, Online Beauty Editor at Cosmopolitan UK
1. “Exercise before work. Research shows exercise increases mental acuity for 4-10 hours afterwards and I definitely feel the impact it has on my work day, giving me a positive mindset from the get-go. It also jump-starts the metabolism and I love feeling like I’ve had ‘me time’ before getting into office-mode.”
2. “Eat healthy fats with protein for breakfast and lunch to keep your blood sugar levels balanced. This combination maintains a ‘fuller for longer’ feeling and reduces energy highs and lows which are detrimental to productivity! As tempting as it is, I try to suppress my coffee cravings given that caffeine causes blood sugar fluctuations which alter concentration.”
3. “Learn not to over-promise. It’s taken me a long time to stop over-committing, something I did because I’m a ‘yes’ person but spreading yourself too thinly can be counterproductive. Everyone’s agreeing that too much multi-tasking hinders mindfulness – which is actually the key to helping you deal with stressful situations.”
Follow Bridget on Twitter @bridgetmarch . www.cosmopolitan.co.uk/beauty-hair .
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Reena Hammer, Urban Retreat’s Creative Director
“When it comes to my working day, my biggest challenge is working across multiple locations; our flagship salon in Harrods and our Head Office in Westminster. To ensure I make the most out of every day, I organise my schedule with a set diary. For example, Tuesdays and Fridays are my days in Harrods and for external meetings while the rest of the time I base myself in head office to catch up on emails and meet with my team.
“One tip I would give anyone is to spread out meetings. I always try to space out my meetings with our brands or partners to ensure I have time to follow-up on anything we discussed or develop any ideas we had.
“My Microsoft Surface Pro tablet is my life saver; it goes everywhere with me. No matter where I am, I have easy access to all my files and projects and can also get some work done in between meetings.”
Follow Reena on Instagram @ReenaHammer . www.urbanretreat.co.uk .