Emails on time
Get it on Google Play

Donna Hanson – “The biggest mistake is distraction”

Donna Hanson is a Technology Productivity Strategist. She helps organizations tap into their hidden productivity through strategic technology training solutions designed to maximize return on investment and increase productivity and profit.


1. Why does efficient time management make sense?

Hanson: “Everyone has 24 hrs in a day. There is no way to “make more time”. The only way to “get” more time is to strategically manage how you spend it. Efficient time management helps guide you towards achieving the highest priority items you have to do.”

2. What is the biggest mistake impeding efficient time management?

Hanson: “Distractions! So many people believe 24/7 access is the key to keeping on top of things. Constant “checking” of phones and emails often results in people being distracted and focusing on others priorities. Having a Time Management strategy and sticking to as much as you can enables you to focus on tasks that generate the highest return on your energy and reduces the risk of distractions.”

3. Where should I begin, if I want to keep my appointments better?

Hanson: “The best place to start is to shut down your email, switch off your phones and allocate some time to working out your version of Time Management. What does time management mean to you – does it mean feeling less stressed? Does it mean no email in your inbox at the end of the day? Does it mean your highest priority tasks for the day are completed before you leave the office? There is no arbitrary place to start because everyone’s interpretation of Time Management will be slightly different. The most important thing is to MAKE the time to work this out. If you don’t it’s like setting a goal without setting a deadline. There is no MAGIC solution. Like giving up smoking, it takes time and commitment to wanting better management of the hours in your day.”

4. What are the basics for meeting all my deadlines?

Hanson: “One of the simplest things to do is to do a brain dump of all the things in your head. Either on paper, in your computerized task list or on your mobile. Getting things OUT of your head enables you to let go and then focus on what are the highest priority tasks that are going to help me work towards my version of time management.”

5. How can I strengthen my willpower to follow my plans?

Hanson: “You need to COMMIT to a change. You won’t change unless you have a big enough reason why you want to. Some people like to be “stuck” in the victim mentality, others like the sense of importance attached with so much to do and being in demand. If you need something to motivate you to follow through, try rewarding yourself with something meaningful for you. It might be a couple of hours off to watch a movie with your kids or loved one or it could be buying yourself something. Make sure it is commensurate to the goal.”

6. What can I do if others complicate my own time management?

Hanson: “If you have clearly identified your highest priority items and goals and someone tries to complicate it you can CHOOSE to be drawn into it or not. If you feel you have no other choice, ask the question of yourself first, why am I doing this, is there a particular purpose, does this person or task have an emotional hold on me, is it obligation I am feeling. Recognise that sometimes others WILL complicate your time management goals, but it is your CHOICE as to whether you accept that or not. If you choose to accept it, then accept it and move on but also recognize that it may impact on your time management.”

7. What is the difference between time management in private life and in professional life?

Hanson: “The elements are exactly the same, but in your personal life there tends to be more emotional and obligations coming into play with the choices you make about managing your time.”

8. What personal price do I have to pay for more efficiency?

Hanson: “A bit of lost time in the initial set up, but if done correctly it can release you from being dragged into other people’s URGENT priorities.”

9. What success does a better time management yield?

Hanson: “Sense of control, balance, satisfaction and calm. All things we tend to be short of in today’s connected world.”

Further information:

Schedulemailer makes you identify your highest priority items and goals!