Is finding effective ways to get more done a waste of time? Well not really, you have to know where you are and where you want to be in order to improve anything. So deciding that your time management skills are poor, and learning how to get better, and where you want to be is time well spent. How ever in saying that if you’ve been searching for time management information for days now, and are still looking for a perfect solution there’s a chance you’re procrastinating. Thats just another trait of someone with poor time management.
So what can you do to start improving your time management right away?
Make lists and prioritize
Often it’s not that people aren’t effective with their time rather they just don’t spend the time they have doing the right things. We’re all guilty of this at one time or another, but some of us are habitual with it. The easiest way to determine if you do this is to make a list each morning, or the night before of the things you need/want to accomplish
the following or that day. Once you have your list prioritize the items from greatest to least importance. Now spend a day and perform the tasks in the order you prioritized them. This does two things.
a.) It shows you what you need to accomplish in a day so you now have some urgency because you know there are other tasks to get done not just the one you are currently working on.
b.) It ensures that the most important items are being taken care of first.
There are times when we can’t finish every item on our list but at least we took care of the most important issues first.
Learn to say no
You can’t do everything for everyone. Following our list exercise above it’s obvious that if you have a list of 20 things and only time for 10 of them in a day then it’s hard to accept additional activities from others. Of course there are trade offs that a more important task could come along and you exchange it for another task you were going to do that day. This gets into another discussion on life priorities such as friends, family, career, remember balance is also important. But you can’t do everything so if the boss wants you to work late that night, but your supposed to see your son’s hockey game
you have to be able to say no somewhere.
Don’t book every moment of your day
Now while we’ve preached lists, daily organization, and learning to say no you do need to leave some room for flexibility. Booking up every moment of your day so that you’re on a minute-by-minute schedule can be a big problem if a mini crisis occurs in the day that wasn’t accounted for.
Use other tools
Using day planners, or PDA’s to keep track of appointments and to do lists will save time and promote organization on all levels. Also keeping good contact information whether it be in a contact database on your computer or in an address book will save time when you need to contact people.
The Key to Living Everyday with Joy