Many peoples natural tendencies are toward repetition of daily tasks, or habitual lives. Over the last few months I have began to look at and apply some time management, or self-motivational tactics to get more tasks done on a daily basis. Home-schooling our kids, writing a blog, and having a part time job had become a nightmare because I did not know how to manage what I was doing. Listed below are the 13 time management tips that I am using to help myself and hopefully you get out of your rut.
1. Do the hardest thing first - I like this because it gets it off your chest. Once the hardest thing you have to do for the day is done. Everything else just falls into place. Brian Tracy says to, “Eat That Frog.” Which essentially means that if the hardest thing to do all day is eat a frog, do it first so you can go on with the rest of your day.
2. Get Disciplined – I have never been a disciplined person. I know what needs to be done but find it hard to get the motivation to move on things. This is where the first tip helps a lot. When you do the hardest stuff first being disciplined about the rest is easy.
3. Know what you want to get done – Starting each day the night or day before will help you to stay focused on the task at hand. I don’t really work off a time schedule. I work from a list of things I need to do and as each one gets done I mark it off. As things arise I add them to the list. I also know there may never be a day the list is done, but that’s okay, I will always have a job because of that.
4. Pay the price in advance – John Maxwell says that everything has a price, and you can either pay now or pay later, but you will pay a price. Read the books, talk to the people, listen to the podcast, spend time with your family, don’t eat that cake. These are things we all want to be able to do and if we do them they are things that will compound over time. If we don’t do them those results will compound as well. Chose to pay the price now.
5. Know what you were hired to do – If you are doing things that are not in your job description or even in your work area, you may be doing them to kill time. Find out what your job is and do that job completely.
6. Work on one thing at a time – If you find yourself working on multiple tasks, or jumping from idea to idea, STOP! Work on one task at a time and focus your energy into getting it done. When you jump from task to task you have to gear up and catch up where you left off and this wastes large amounts of time each day.
7. Clear out the junk – Don’t leave a mess in your office or around your house. If you live and work in a mess you spend valuable time looking for what you need, and re-reading things that you don’t need now.
8. Create a file system – I use Evernote and Dropbox to file my materials and I pay for Amazon Cloud Drive and Flickr to hold my music and pictures. Evernote is great when you are reading a blog post or article to save it and know where to find it. Dropbox allows me to work on the same projects at home or on the go either from my tablet or computer.
9. Just say no – I have had to learn to say no more than I say yes. I am a people pleaser by nature and I don’t want to disappoint anyone, so I had to work very hard at learning to say no. All it takes is one, “No” to start the process. Remember, if you get burned out, everyone will suffer.