There are two things I am talented at. One is time management. The other I can’t disclose online. In my 30-something years on this magnificent hulking blue marble, I have found that excellent time management skills resonate in your life, enabling you to run just about everything a little bit better. In the spirit of bettering the human race, I have decided to share five of my best kept and most closely guarded secrets to excellent time management.
1. Have a schedule
I know what you are thinking. In fact, I can already hear you groaning, “I’m an adult, I don’t need a pre-determined schedule for my day.” Be that as it may, I am telling you from personal experiences in success and failure that you will be much more successful if you have a agenda. Map out your work day, map out your meetings and map out your free time.
Being the techno-genius that I am, I use Outlook, enter my schedule and synch it with my phone. Old-schoolers might prefer pen and paper solutions like calendars or day runners. Pick your poison and drink up.
2. Have a “to-do” list for each day
Again I raise my hand at being the techno-genius. Since most of my work is done on the computer, I have a to-do app installed on my iGoogle. As I complete each item, I check it off for the day. I can rinse and repeat this to-do list, every day of the week, and add or subtract tasks with the click of a mouse and a few strokes of a keyboard. Easy. Regardless, you need a list of the tasks you intend to complete during the day. Yes, every day.
3. Triage the “to-dos”
Your life is like one gigantic emergency room visit when it comes to time management. Look at your to-do list and triage the most critical items. Then, place those critical care items at the tip top of your list. You will thank me later, as we continue to secret number four.
4. Get the worst out of the way, first
We all have those things we certainly don’t “like” or enjoy doing. Get those out of the way in your workday first. For me, I get most of the majority of my work done in the earlier hours of the day. I essentially accomplish two goals in doing so: most of my work is done, and my afternoons are easy. From lunchtime to quitting time, my work flow is painless, making life extra grand as I avoid those afternoon lulls and fits of anxiety, never having to scrape by on a deadline.
5. Stick to it (time blocking)
So you have implemented secrets one to four. At this point, you are well on your way to being a time management expert. The last, and most common sense, secret is to time block. What I mean by time blocking is to stick to your schedule. Deviation from the schedule and the to-do list will result in failure; no joke. Commit and succeed. It’s that simple.
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