Tag Archive: time

With the fast pace at which we all move and the multiple hats we all wear, it’s easy to have what seems like and endless number of things to do.  The demands on our time being what they are make it even more important to be organized and on top of your game.

Having a to-do list to help manage the many things on your agenda is a key factor in the game.  If you’re using one effectively on a regular basis, you’re someone who’s committed to productivity.  If you don’t have a to-do list, chances are that you are overwhelmed by the amount of things you have to do and may be forgetting important things.  If this is the case, consider what having and effectively using a to-do list will do for you:

  • All of your tasks are in one place and prioritized
  • You can clearly see what needs to be done
  • Prioritizing keeps you on track
  • You are organized, and more efficient
  • You’re not stressed by unimportant tasks
  • Your complete, prioritized to-do list drives your time management system

Without a solid to-do list you lack focus and you’re not as efficient or reliable to those around you.  If you have a to-do list, is it doing these things for you?  If not, chances are that it’ s not up to date, contains old, unfinished items and you don’t update it on a regular basis as part of a time management system.

If this is true and you’re ready to whip things into shape, start by getting the old items off of the list.  Apply one of the three D’s: get them done, delegate them or delete them altogether.  Add to your list all of the things that you have to do, then prioritize them.  I suggest that you also categorize them as well so that you can easily locate tasks and make updates to the list.  For example, some of the categories that I have are: personal, business development, products, health, etc.  Categorize your tasks in a way that works for you. If a task is going to take you longer than 15 minutes to do, create a block of time in your calendar.

Besides the key factors of containing all of your tasks and being prioritized, your to-do list has to be part of a time management system that contains a time management tool that fits your personality, an organized home or work space and established effective habits.  All the key elements of this system keep you from struggling and being busy with the unimportant, urgent things and take you to a place where you’re focused on what’s important and not urgent, which are the ideal tasks that you want to have on your list.  You’re organized, in control and on top of your game.

If you’re challenged when it comes to managing your time, chances are that there are some mistakes that you’re making on a regular basis that are contributing to the problem.  Of all the non-supportive habits I’ve helped people change, there are 10 that I consider to be the most common.  This audio, Top 10 Time Management Mistakes & How to Avoid Them, will give you what I consider to be the top 10 mistakes people make when it comes to managing their time.  It will also give you practical steps that you can take right now to begin making the shift to effectively managing your time.  Top 10 Time Management Mistakes

Of all the things that you place onto your schedule, are you setting time for you?  Most of us don’t, which is a big mistake.  If you don’t stop to take a moment for you on a regular basis, it makes it hard to take care of the things and the people we’re responsible for.  If you’ve ever been on a plane and listened to the flight attendant, you know that they tell you that if the oxygen masks should be needed, those traveling with small children to place the oxygen mask on themselves first, then take care of the child’s mask.  The same is so when it comes to how you handle things daily.

Look at your calendar. What do you see?  Where is your time going?  Are you spending the majority of your time at work and on personal things, but absolutely no time whatsoever on you?  If so, consider changing that.  Look at your calendar again and see where you have opportunities to fit in some “me” time.  If there’s not room, start making room on a regular basis for you.  Think about what you’d like to do.  It could be something as simple as a block of time to read.  Ladies,  maybe you’d like to treat yourself to a manicure or pedicure.  Gents, that might not be up your alley, but think about the things that are.  Whatever it is that you like to do, make sure you start blocking out time in your schedule to do them.

Take things a step farther and let that special time motivate you daily.  Look at the things on your to-do list right now and decide what you want to do to celebrate accomplishing them.  You can do this with the small things as well as the bigger things on your list.  Let your reward be your daily motivation and increase your productivity at the same time.

There’s so much to do and what seems to be not enough time to get to it all, so, how do you get to what matters most?  It starts by looking at everything you have on your plate and the things you would like to place on your plate.  There is an exercise that Covey proposed that does work when it comes to getting to what really matters.

If you’re ready to forge your way forward and start getting to what matters most, just click here and get your free eBook, What Matters Most©.  The first step to getting to what matters most.

Time management expert Stephen Covey developed a matrix to help people gain perspective of their tasks and gain better awareness of their priorities.  It’s called Covey’s Quadrant.   Quadrant 1 contains the important, urgent things; Quadrant 2 important, not urgent things; Quadrant 3 urgent, not important items; Quadrant 4 the not important, not urgent items.

Following the 80/20 rule, we know that 80 percent of the desired results come from 20 percent of high leverage activities or efforts.  With that in mind, the greatest payoff comes from working on projects or activities that are in quadrant 2; the important but not urgent things.  Focus on those things allows you to position yourself to spend less time handling crises.

The trick is getting there.  To do so requires that we deliberately and constantly choose.  If you think about it, life is all about choices.  We all have the freedom of choice with everything, including managing our time.  Developing the habit of choosing the really important things is primary in getting that big payoff.

So, how do you get to what matters most?  By looking at everything you have on your plate and the things you would like to place on your plate.  There is an exercise that Covey proposed that does work when it comes to getting to what really matters.  I’ll share the exercise in my next post.

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