Making the Most of Your Time
"The bad news is time flies. The good news is you're the pilot." - Michael Altshuler
Time is life's most valuable asset and everyone is allotted the same 24-hour day. How is it that some people can accomplish two or three times more in a single day than others? The answer is simple; they've mastered time management skills.
Have you ever noticed how much you can get done in a few hours when you really have to? Let's use the day before your vacation as an example. You make a list of chores that must be done before you can leave for the airport:
- Take the dog to the kennel
You have only 3 hours to complete all these tasks, yet when finished, you had time left over. How did this happen? You were organized and motivated. This is the essence of time management.
Learning to use your time productively can reduce much of the stress and frustration in your life, leaving you feeling more content. Not only that; but you'll have more time to spend doing the things you enjoy most.
Think-Plan-Organize-Execute-Reevaluate. Time management simply put, is working smarter. The first step in developing an effective time management plan is to determine where you need to spend time and where you do not. Below are just a few basic principles to get started:
1. Determine what time of day you are most productive. Are you more productive in the morning or in the afternoon? Schedule your most important daily tasks during this period. Save your more mundane chores like attending meetings, answering emails and phone calls for later.
2. Use technology to your advantage. Don't return phone calls if sending emails can accomplish the same thing. Return phone calls during the noon hour and leave voice messages. This saves you many minutes of idle chitchat.
3. Get a clear picture. Don't begin a new project until you have all of the details and you completely understand the projects goals and requirements. Get all your questions answered before you begin as there's no sense in doing it twice.
4. Develop good decision making skills. Understand the consequences of each decision you make; will it produce the desired results?
5. Create an action plan. If you neglect to take time for planning, you are setting yourself up for failure. Spend time analyzing every project. Create a "To Do" list and outline each task required to reach your desired goal. Be sure to break down larger tasks into smaller ones. Specify due dates, and priorities. Cross off each task as it's completed, this will help you keep organized and prevent you from forgetting anything. Take a look at your plan, are there ways to simplify it further? Keep your list updated.
6. Get organized. Don't begin a project until you've assembled all the necessary resources and tools you'll need. Use your day planner to remind yourself of upcoming tasks. At the end of the day write down where you left off and make a list of priorities for tomorrow.
7. Set priorities. Know the difference between important tasks and urgent ones. Urgent tasks have short-term consequences while important tasks are those with long-term, goal-related outcomes. Work toward reducing the urgent tasks so you'll have plenty of time for more important priorities. This will help prevent urgent items from becoming emergencies.
8. Learn your software. Learning how to get the most from your computer and its software will also help make your work easier and less time consuming. Spending time learning how to improve your work is more productive than wasting time doing it the same old way. Take advantage of computer software tutorials to become more proficient in your work.
9. Be flexible. Plan time for interruptions and distractions. Make yourself available to respond to surprises and new opportunities.
10. Avoid procrastination. Procrastination is the tendency to avoid, for as long as possible, completing an action or task that needs to be done, usually by focusing on some other distraction. Getting it over with right away will keep time from being wasted.
11. Stay focused. Avoid jumping from one uncompleted task to another. Try to finish one job before moving on to the next.
12. Delegate. What tasks can be delegated to others?
13. Follow a routine. Make your new routine a habit. Every new habit you develop is an important step toward taking control of your time.
14. Reward yourself. Balance your work with pleasure and reward yourself for completing your goals, even the small ones.
15. Reevaluate: After completing a project, revisit your "To Do" list. Were there any unnecessary steps? Is there a way the task could be accomplished with less effort next time?
Wasted time is lost opportunity. Lost opportunity equals diminished productivity. Lost productivity means less time to spend doing the things you want to do. Your life is a progression of choices. You have control over the choices you make, not the flow of time.
Time management is one source for a happier more productive life, and studies have shown that happy people feel less rushed because they are in control of their time. Once you've mastered these skills, you'll find yourself able to maintain a healthier balance between your work, and your family.
Copyright 2005, Video Professor Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Mary Carroll is a customer advocate for Video Professor, the leader in self-paced software learning tutorials, helping our customers to better understand Video Professor and how our tutorials can provide tools to learn various software programs to your desired level.
Making the Most of Your Time
"The bad news is time flies. The good news is you're the pilot." - Michael Altshuler
Effective Time Management Techniques
Coping with the Time Crunch
"There is never enough time, unless you're serving it."-Malcolm Forbes (1919 - 1990)
Work at Home Moms: Time Management Tips
"How do you DO it?!" If I had a dime for every time I heard that, I would be able to quit my home business.
What Are You Thinking?
What would be your reaction if someone said to you "In the next 24 hours you will be given $10,000 for every chair you sell like the one you are sitting on right now?"
Time Management: Which Advice to Follow?
There are so many books on Time Management published every month that it is difficult to find the time to read and digest them all. What happens to most people is that they buy a book on time management, read it, decide that some parts of it may suit them, but then fail to adequately integrate the system into their lives. This is partly due to inadequacies in the system itself, and partly due to the inherently difficult nature of learning a new system - the equivalent to learning a new habit. What the books don't tell you is that each different time management system is not necessarily suitable to all people or for all uses for which people need them. Finding the right combination of the basic methods is entirely individual depending on both the nature of the tasks that are required to be done and the nature of the individual who is implementing the strategy.
Time Management: 11 Tips
Work more efficiently and be more productive using these time-management tips:
First Things Last
Years ago clients would tell me they could not identify their priorities. Now I hear them saying 'I know what my priorities are?I just can't get to them'.
Will Your Epilogue Be ? I Got All My Emails Done?
Work life balance is the new Holy Grail; that search for nirvana; the need to find peace and contentment, the desire to achieve that fine sense of equilibrium that we can be happy with.
Doing Things We Dread
As I sit here in front of the computer I am breaking through on something that I have been tolerating for weeks now? actually sitting down to write this newsletter. I wasn't blocked for ideas ? I had a list of them. I simply couldn't (yea right? wouldn't) sit down and put my thoughts on paper. The irony, of course is that I coach people through these very same issues and my clients have great success. Ohhhh coach heal thyself! Well the breakthrough came the other night when I was using a wonderful miracle of modern technology? The George Forman Grill! Let me explain. I love to cook. It is an amazing creative experience for me? and let me give you some advice? remember presentation is everything. A meal can go from fair to fantastic simply by arranging the food on the plate? you sort of fool people into thinking it is actually better than it is? the French have known this for years. But I digress? So I was in the mood to make a nice meal but didn't want to go to a lot of trouble. Enter the GF Grill. Its very fast and the food turns out great. BUT I HATE TO CLEAN IT. Trust me, it is NOT hard to clean, but it is one of those things that I dread. After previous uses I have let it sit there unclean for a full day simply because I "didn't wanna!" This time it was different, however. After the meal, I simply got up, did the dishes quickly and then took the 4 ½ minutes it actually takes to clean the grill so it can be put away. As I was doing this I realized that I wasn't dreading it. What was that about? I usually piss and moan about it and work myself up into a frenzy. Then I realized what was different. I didn't think about it I just did it. I knew I didn't want to wake up to a filthy kitchen, I knew it would take all of 5 minutes to do? and I did it. I was actually grateful that I had used such a simple machine and was so happy when it was all done. Perspective. I had wasted so much energy with the dread of the action that the cost of not doing it was 10 times more expensive than the 5 minutes of the unpleasantness ? which, by the way was nowhere near as unpleasant as I was making it in my head. From this lesson I today now sit down and write my newsletter. I was dreading the time it would take; would it be good; all the what if's; all the mind games; the I CAN'Ts; all that crap. Instead? it is simple? I will or I won't. My choice. (By the way? this newsletter took about 25 minutes to write? hmmm? much less than I imagined!) A Call to Action and a How to. 1) Realize how much energy avoiding things we "don't wanna" do is costing us energetically. 2) Realize that these things almost always seem bigger in our headsw than they actually are. 3) Switch from victim mode: go from "I Can't" to "I Choose Not to." As Yoda from Star Wars says? "Do or do not. There is no try!" 4) Eat That Frog. There is a book on over coming procrastination called "Eat That Frog." A premise of this book comes from the old saying, if the first thing you do each morning is to eat a live frog, you can go through the day with the satisfaction of knowing that it is the worst thing you'll probably do all day. Identify the important tasks that you are dreading and just do them? right off? first thing in the morning and look forward to the freedom you will experience the rest of the day. 5) Make your 'To Do' list specific. Vague goals engender anxiety and feel big and overwhelming. Make them specific and measurable. For example "Organize my life" vs. "Spend 20 minutes every morning sorting and filing the papers on my desk." See the difference. 6) Categorize your to-do's by the resistence factor. Separate them into one of 4 categories; a) have to do / Want to do; b) Have to do / Don't want to do; c) Don't have to do / Want to do; and d) Don't have to do / Don't want to do. Do your tasks in this order: b,a,c. 7) To change your attitude, change your perception. Make a game of it. Create a chart and put up gold stars for every item you complete. Feel good. Play. Is it all REALLY THAT important? 8) Get support. A friend, a coach, a group. Don't face things you dread alone. 9) Be kind to yourself. One step and one thing at a time. It doesn't all have to get done at once. 10) Celebrate. For each accomplishment ? no matter how small ? celebrate. Plan it beforehand and make it great!! So what things have you been dreading that you will now choose to take care of? Go ahead. Eat that frog. I dare you to do one thing? just one. Right now. It will feel great. Go get 'em, Tiger!
Procrastination, the habit of putting tasks off to the last possible minute, can be a major problem in both your career and your personal life. Missed opportunities, frenzied work hours, stress, overwhelm, resentment, and guilt are just some of the symptoms. This article will explore the root causes of procrastination and give you several practical tools to overcome it.
The WIT to WIN
What are the most important things you should accomplish today? Go ahead. Make a list of your priorities and put them in order of their importance. Write down the rewards and the consequences for each one. Your list has incredible power. It helps you propel yourself towards your most desired results.
Freelance Productivity: Do One Thing Extra Each Day
This may not sound like a big deal. But it's amazing how completing one extra task each day can quickly add up and make a difference.
Talkin About Chicken
Yesterday, I'd just gotten comfortable at my favorite table in my neighborhood Starbucks when I noticed two 70-somethings seated at the table next to me. Although they sat mere inches from one another, they communicated as if they were standing on opposite ends of a dark mountain tunnel.
Time Is Everything
Time is wealth;
Time Management: Set Yourself Up For Success
Any habit of mind or body that interferes with taking decisive action contributes to your tendency to procrastinate. Think about your good habits and the environment that leads you to be most productive. Consider your preferred working hours, your optimum concentration periods, and the ways you have been successful in the past. You can begin to build on your good points first by recognizing them and giving yourself credit for them. Then, enhance the skills and techniques you already have with those presented here and beat the specter of procrastination once and for all.
Do You Have The Time?
Show me, O Lord, my life's end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting is my life. Psalms 39:4.
Achieve More With Less Through Proper Planning
One question a lot of people ask me recently is: "how do I manage my own personal time and get so much done in the same 24 hours everyone else have? They wonder how I have time for my family, being a Motivational Speaker, Business/Life Coach, Writer, Publisher, and Toastmaster."
Too Much to Do? Too Little Time?
Hey - Did someone press the FFW button?
The Power of 90 Seconds
You can use the Power of 90 Seconds to transform your life. This power will allow you to:
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