Why time management is important

Danelle Hunter prides herself on how she remains productive.  She says it is because she understands how to prioritise.

Topic – Mastering time management

Mentor – Danelle Hunter

  • reduces stress
  • increases productivity
  • creates a sense of achievement

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Kevin Turner: I make no excuse for the fact that this week we’ll be talking about time management, because every time I talk to an agent it’s one of the things that they struggle with and that’s why I was delighted to find out that our mentor this week is someone who is obsessed with time management and says that she is really good at it. I’m talking about Danelle Hunter from Biggin and Scott in Knox. G’day, Danelle. How you doing?

Danelle Hunter: Good, Kevin. How are you?

Kevin Turner: Good. So you’re obsessed. Did you say you’re OCDC with this?

Danelle Hunter: Yeah, I’m shocking. I can’t sleep if everything’s not done and when I leave at the end of the day all my emails have to be replied to, my desk has to be cleared, there has to be no work outstanding. So very-

Kevin Turner: Is that a ritual? Do you do that every day?

Danelle Hunter: Every day, yes.

Kevin Turner: Why is it important to you? And this may help us understand why we need to have more disciplines around this.

Danelle Hunter: It’s very important for several reasons. I find everyone always says to me, “How are you not stressed all the time, running multiple offices and with everything you do?” But I’m not because I cope with my days well. So time management’s important to reduce your stress. If you leave the end of day feeling like you’ve done everything for the day, you shouldn’t feel stressed when you get at home and you should be able to relax for the night and then start a new day fresh, rather than sitting at home stressing about what tomorrow’s going to bring.

Danelle Hunter: Sorry.

Kevin Turner: Yeah, I was going to say, we are talking this week about ways to get better time management, but why do you think we struggle with it so much?

Danelle Hunter: I think people just get distracted very easily, so they either are speaking to other staff members or just taking phone calls. I think people need to realise that during work time, focus on that, focus on the important things first, and then go from there. Whereas, yeah, everyone just seems to get so distracted very easily. It’s all about working smarter rather than harder.

Kevin Turner: Yeah. Well, I guess the end result of that would be that you become a lot more productive too, if you’re focused on the most important things all the time.

Danelle Hunter: Yes, that’s true. And once you get those things out of the way then you obviously move to the things that aren’t as important but still need to be done.

Kevin Turner: Do you get any criticism about how focused you get on that?

Danelle Hunter: No. Well, as far as clients and everything go, they all love it because they know they get a response quickly and the same day and they all like that, from a customer service point of view. My staff probably don’t like it because I’m sitting there saying, “You haven’t done that, why isn’t that done? And your desk needs to be cleared.” But sometimes feeling like … I know my assistant, for example, she gets into this fluster, and she’s like, “I’ve got so much to do, I don’t know where to start,” and I’m like, “You don’t have that much to do, you just need to clear your desk and get rid of the things that are not necessary and you’ll be on top of it.”

Danelle Hunter: And I’ll go in there sometimes and help her clear it up and then she’s like, “Oh, yeah, actually I don’t have much to do.” So it’s just cleaning things up and making her feel like she’s on top of it, takes a little bit of time and then she can keep going.

Kevin Turner: Do you use any tools to help you do this or is it really just a mindset that you say you’ve got to do this at the end of every day?

Danelle Hunter: It’s really just a mindset. I know that I won’t leave if there’s stuff in my in tray, if there’s items in my calendar that I haven’t done, and if my emails aren’t replied to. So I just make sure that that’s what I do every day and it’s amazing, if you want to get out of work on time, what you’ll do to get those done.

Kevin Turner: It’s a bit like going on holidays. I’ve often thought that it’s quite incredible when we go on holidays we always seem to be able to have that last rush, that little bit of energy towards the end just to clean everything up to make sure we had a clear slate to go away with. That’s really what you do every day.

Danelle Hunter: Yes, yes. I used to do it just when I went on holidays, years ago, when I first started out, and it was always a nightmare. I’d be there until midnight trying to get things done. But once I changed that, probably about 12 to 13 years ago, it just makes life a lot easier.

Kevin Turner: Yeah.

Danelle Hunter: And at least when I get home I can speak to my partner and I can cook dinner and I’m not stressing about, “Oh my god, I didn’t get these done.”

Kevin Turner: Mm, it’s a great insight. Must give you a tremendous sense of achievement as well, lets you relax for the night.

Danelle Hunter: Yeah, it does. It’s great. And-

Kevin Turner: Okay. We’re going to look tomorrow, when we come back with Danelle, at ways to improve time management. We had a good look at why you should do it and I hope you found that inspirational, I certainly did. Danelle, thanks for your time. I look forward to catching up tomorrow morning.

Danelle Hunter: All right, thank you.

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