Tic toc tic toc... Time is passing you by. Every hour that goes by that you're not checking something off your to-do list is an hour wasted.
1. Develop A Sense Of Urgency
The most important measure of time is speed. The most important quality that you can develop with regard to time management is a “sense of urgency.”
A sense of urgency is the habit of moving fast when opportunity presents itself to you. Develop a bias for action. Fast tempo is essential to success. All successful people not only work hard, hard, hard, but they work fast, fast, fast!
2. Stop Procrastinating
Procrastination is not only the thief of time; it is the thief of life. You must develop the time management habit of moving quickly when something needs to be done. You must develop a reputation for speed and dependability.
As a general rule, small tasks should be done immediately, as soon as they appear. This habit of taking action quickly will enable you to get through an enormous amount of work in a day. It will earn you a reputation for being the kind of person to give jobs to when someone needs them done quickly.
3. Work In Real Time
Whenever possible, do your work in “real time,” as soon as it comes up. Stay focused and do it now. It is amazing how much time you can waste by picking up a task and looking at it or starting it, and then putting it down and coming back to it again and again.
General Time Management Skills
The preparation that you make in the evening for the day ahead will have an enormous effect on how successful you are. Here are some general time management skills that anyone can do that will help you get more done.
1. Always Think On Paper
Take a piece of paper and write down everything you intend to do. Include everything, even your plans to eat a healthy lunch and workout, prepare dinner for you and your family, every detail.
Then organize the piece of paper by asking yourself: “If I could only do one thing on this list today, which one thing would it be?”
And if I could only do two things which would be the second and the third? And then when you start first thing in the morning, start off with number one, and discipline yourself to work only on number one until it’s complete. Then move on to number two.
2. Avoid Distractions Like Email And Media
Checking your email in the morning makes getting off track entirely too easy. It starts with just one email, and before you know it, you’re several hours into your day and you still haven’t started on your number one task.
Keep your phone away from you or off to avoid distractions from your most important task.
3. Make Your List Of Written Tasks The Night Before
The final way for you to make sure you have a productive next day is to make this list of goals and tasks the night before.
Your ability to make good plans before you act is a measure of your overall competence. The better plan you have, the easier it is for you to overcome procrastination, to get started and then to keep going.
By writing down your goals before you go to sleep, you will think about the things you need to do and mentally prepare yourself to do them before you even wake up the next morning.
When you plan each day in advance, organize your list by priority, and stick to your plan, the work will go faster and smoother than ever before. You will feel more powerful and competent. You will get more done, faster than you thought possible. Eventually, you will become unstoppable.
Time Management Tool: Make A To-Do-List
Make A To-Do-List For Every Day
When you consider how helpful planning can be in increasing your productivity and performance, it is amazing how few people practice it every single day. And planning is really quite simple to do. All you need is a piece of paper and a pen.
The most sophisticated technology, time management apps are based on the same principle. Making a list is one of the best time management tools you can develop.
Make Your To-Do-Lists A Habit
Always work from a list. When something new comes up, add it to the list before you do it. You can increase your productivity and output by 25% or more from the first day that you begin working consistently from a list.
Make out your list the night before, at the end of the workday. Move everything that you have not yet accomplished onto your list for the coming day and then add everything that you have to do the next day.
When you make out your list the evening or the night before, your subconscious mind works on your list all night long while you sleep. Often you will wake up with great ideas and insights that you can use to get your job done faster and better than you had initially thought.
The more time you take to make written lists of everything you have to do, in advance, the more effective and efficient you will be.
Types Of To-Do-Lists
There are different lists that you need for different purposes. First, you should create a master list on which you write down everything you can think of that you want to do sometime in the future. This is the place where you capture every idea that comes to or every new task or responsibility that comes up. You can then sort out the items later.
Second, you should have a monthly list that you make up at the end of the month for the month ahead. This may contain items transferred from your master list.
Third, you should have a weekly list where you plan your entire week in advance. This is a list that is under construction as you go through the current week.
Finally, you transfer items from your monthly and weekly lists onto your daily list. These are the specific activities that you are going to accomplish that day.
Check Off Your Completed Tasks
As you work through the day, tick off the items on your list as you complete them. This activity gives you a visual picture of accomplishment. It generates a feeling of success and forward motion. Seeing yourself working progressively through your list motivates and energizes you. It raises your self-esteem and self-respect. Steady, visible progress propels you forward and helps you to overcome procrastination.