Making the most of your Time
Have you ever wondered how other people seem to get so much more done in a day than you do? Do you feel like you are working longer hours, yet never seem to complete a fraction of the items on your "To Do" list? When was the last time you were so ahead of schedule that you weren’t quite sure what to do next? Or do you feel like you will never get caught up no matter how hard you try?
You are not alone. The good news is that time management is easy once you get the hang of it. By practicing a few basic time management principles, you can control your time instead of letting it control you. Making the most of your time is basically self management. It’s easier than you think.
Here are some tips on what you should be doing:
- Focus on your priorities and let the little things slide. Every time you do something unimportant, you are trading something important for it.
- You should have enough time to accomplish what you want to if you set goals and manage your time instead of letting it manage you. Be careful about how much of your time you give to others … learn to say no.
- Plan your day. Set objectives for your day. Plans guide you through the day’s distractions and keep you on course.
- Make a "To Do" list. A list is not a commitment to do anything, but just a list of tasks that you need to complete. A task will not become a priority and you will not be committed to completing it until you schedule time in your day to do it. This is one of the most overlooked principles of time management and the key to your success.
- Use the time you have allotted to schedule appropriate tasks. Use smaller chunks of time to take care of short, easily completed tasks like returning telephone calls, opening the mail, filing, e-mail, etc. Use larger chunks of time for important action projects so that you can make significant progress.
- Don’t procrastinate. The major reasons that we procrastinate are either we really don’t want to do something or we don’t know where to start. If you break a large project into small, manageable pieces, it will become much less formidable and easier to accomplish. The important thing is to get started.
- Try not to be a perfectionist. Be careful not to spend inordinate amounts of time on tasks that do not require it. Understand why you are doing something and do what is required to do a good job, but be realistic about it.
We make conscious and unconscious decisions about how we spend our time every hour of the day. Make the right ones and make each minute count! You will feel less stressed and experience a good sense of accomplishment.