2010 is off and running.Â We all have the same amount of time in each day, so how is it that some people get so much more accomplished than others?Â Here are some basic time management principles that have been proven to help us cross more things off of the “to do list”.
Don’t Drag Your Feet.
Procrastination is a big time waster, so do the things that you don’t like first.Â Clean the bathroom first or balance the checkbook before you continue with other chores that need done.Â Being able to check the distasteful task off of your list, will give a sense of accomplishment.
Perfectionism is another challenge for many.Â We don’t want to tackle the task until we have examined it in all areas.Â Some major projects may warrant the time, but if it’s not, don’t sweat the small stuff.Â Lower your standards some, teach other family members how to help and delegate some of the responsibilities.
Before You Sit Down…
Interruptions can be time waster so turn off the TV and computer (so you don’t hear the messaging beeps) and accomplish a couple of tasks each night before you relax for the evening.Â Breaking things down into manageable parts helps us accomplish more.
Take a look around and see if things like the organization of your files, or your work space helps you as you work or if you are struggling to find things.Â Get rid of things you don’t need, clutter is a major obstacle to working efficiently.
Talk about it.
If we always do things the way we’ve always done them, then how can we expect different results?Â Talk with others about how they manage specific tasks and glean tips from them to help you.Â As you implement changes, remember that it will take 3-6 weeks of practice before it becomes a routine for you.
Learn to say NO.
Many of us have a hard time saying “no” to things when asked.Â My mentor shared with me to say, I’d love to, but I can’t do it until…….. This way you are in control of your calendar and if it can still meet their needs, great.Â If not, you have offered and maybe next time it will work.
Make a note of it.
At the end of the day either at home or the office, make a list of things that have to get done, and things that should be done.Â This is a simple way to prioritize so that when you start the next day you have a plan.Â When the plans go astray, re-organize and tackle them again.Â Notes to yourselfÂ work well to remind us of details or priorities.Â Communication is essential to help other co-workers or family understand if there are deadline to meet or tasks that have to be done.
On your work calendar plan for family time.Â Schedule blocks of time for activities and events, but don’t forget the simple time of family meals, and bedtime stories.Â Childhood doesn’t last forever, work will.
Morning person or night owl?
When’s your best time of the day?Â Plan your most difficult tasks for then and you’ll find they are much easier to accomplish.Â The “Parieto Principle” is that 20% of your time brings you 80% of the results.
Priorities and perspective.
I would also encourage a conversation during some family time to ask yourself and other family members about what things are really important to them.Â We make time for the important things and hopefully those are the things that are strengthening our family.Â If we are doing activities just to do them, and no one is really having fun, then it may be time to let them go.Â Before you go on to the next thing, pick up a pencil and paper and see if any of these might be helpful to you.Â Remember practice, makes perfect!Â Â Join me in striving to have a less stress filled, more productive 2010!