15 Essential Time Management Tips
15 Essential Time Management Tips
By Edel Jarboe
How can you take control of your time and your life? Be more efficient and maximize the time in your day by making the commitment to make time for what matters.
1. Don’t know where to start? Make a “Master To Do” list. Make a list of all the things you do every day, of current projects, and of future projects. Categorize these items into work, family, and personal time. Keep several copies of your Master To Do list – in your planner, in your desk drawer, and in your purse or briefcase- so that you can refer to it as necessary and to serve as a reminder of how important your time is to you.
2. Plan your day using your Master To Do list. Prioritize. What must be done? What can be rescheduled, delegated, or deleted? Eliminate or delegate trivial tasks.
3. Review your plan. Is it realistic? Are you trying to do too much?
4. At the end of each day, plan the next day. This helps you feel more organized and in control.
5. Follow your own organizational style. Does the thought of a To Do list make you sweat? Use color and pictures, piles, or boxes to organize your life in a way that makes sense to you. Day Planners, To Do lists, and other time management tools won’t do you any good if you aren’t using them.
6. For those of you who like calendars, planning books, and the like make sure you are using them to their maximum advantage. For example, use abbreviations, write down anniversaries and birthdays, keep track of your goals, record notes and ideas, upcoming appointments, meetings, school events, vacations, business trips, etc.
7. Set goals that are specific, measurable, realistic, and achievable- they give you purpose and direction. What do you want to accomplish? When?
8. Be flexible. Allow time for interruptions and distractions. When you expect to be interrupted, plan routine tasks. Save larger blocks of time for your priorities.
9. Use your body’s prime time to your advantage. Which time of day are you at your best? Are you a “morning person,” a “late afternoon whiz,” or a “night owl?” Plan to use this time of day (if possible) for your priorities and be more effective.
10. Identify what the right thing to do is, and then focus on doing it right. This goes a long way towards improving your personal efficiency.
11. Assign deadlines to important priorities to keep them from becoming last-minute emergencies.
12. Avoid perfectionism- as this can be a form of procrastination- sometimes good enough is good enough.
13. To avoid procrastination, break a task into smaller tasks and work on one task for 15 minutes. The logic behind this method is that if you do a little at a time, eventually you’ll reach the point where you’ll want to finish.
14. Learn to say “No” by focusing on the importance of your goals. If necessary, schedule personal time for priorities such as friends, family, and you.
15. Reward yourself for achieving your goals. Balance your life with fun.
Edel Jarboe is the founder of Self Help for Her.com, an online self-help magazine helping you create a better life. She also publishes a free weekly newsletter, which features advice on goal setting, stress management, coping with difficult people, and overcoming obstacles: Subscribe here and receive a FREE stress report.
(Theo Edel Jarboe)
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