Almost everyone wants to be more organized, more productive, and more effective.
It is hard to organize your life so you can live it. It takes discipline, but it can be done.
Some people get more done than others, but everyone has the same amount of time.
The difference is how you use your time.
You cannot manage time, but you can decide how you use it. It is helpful to replace the term “time management” with “time utilization.” Ask yourself: “How do I choose to use my time?” not “How can I manage my time.” It will make a huge difference!
We all have the same amount of time, so leaning on the excuse, “I’m busy,” is no excuse. Everyone is busy.
If you feel overwhelmed, here are a few ideas that will help:
Handle Mail and Clear Your Desk. I like to do it the last thing in the day, so I have a clean desk when I arrive in the morning.
The only thing on my desk is the most important thing to be done tomorrow, and I put it on my desk before I leave today.
You will arrive to a clean desk free of distractions. No time wasted deciding what to do first. If an urgency pulls you away from your planned task, you will know where to start when you have handled the interruption.
Plan Daily. Keep a To-Do List, but only write the top five things on it for each day. Put everything else on a “Grass Catcher List” and keep it hidden in your desk drawer, your planner, or your pocket.
At the end of the day take out your Grass Catcher List and choose the top five priorities for tomorrow’s To Do List. As things occur that require future action, add them to your Grass Catcher List and put it away. That keeps you always be working on the Most Important Things.
Caution: Be flexible. If a Top 5 item doesn’t get done, it may not be on your Top 5 tomorrow, so don’t become a slave to your list, it’s a tool. But keep today’s To Do List short, so you don’t feel overwhelmed. Sometimes it’s necessary to have only one item on your To-Do List, or it may be necessary to work on an item for a short time over several days, so break it up into convenient time blocks.
This allows you to do more things without one big project sucking up all your time. If you accomplish all five things on today’s To Do List before day’s end, pull out your Grass Catcher List and pick the next most important thing you need to do.
Using this system a half-hour at the end of each day, will add 1-2 hours of productive time to your day in which you will be less stressed and more effective.
Avoid Distractions. Work on only one item at a time. Remove all other projects from your desk to avoid distractions. Time is lost sorting through other items while you’re working on one.
Top 10 Time Wasters and What To About Them:
- Shifting priorities. Follow Your To Do List priorities.
- Telephone interruptions. Hold calls when you’re busy.
- Lack of direction/objectives. Use your To Do List.
- Attempting too much. Keep your To Do List Short, but your Grass Catcher List handy.
- Drop-in visitors. Keep your door shut when you don’t want to be interrupted.
- In effective delegation. Ask: Can someone else do this? Let them. They’ll grow!
- Cluttered desk/losing things.
- Procrastination/lack of self-discipline.
- Inability to say “no.” Start saying no more often.
- Meetings. Make them few, and keep them short. Use a written agenda.