6 Time Management Tips That Really Work
Frazzled? Busy? Take some advice from the doc.
William Penn said “Time is what we want most, but what we use worst.”
Managing time is first about managing yourself. If you are ready to commit to being more organized and productive, that’s the big leap. Here are 6 time management tips I use:
1. Ruthless prioritization with realistic time schedules. Spend less time making lists and more time following them. Use the ABC technique – A are tasks that are urgent, B are tasks that are important to you but not urgent, and C are tasks that are neither urgent or important.
2. Using your time wisely means rigidly getting and staying organized, preventing any distractions from taking you away from your urgent or important task at hand.
3. I like Stephen R. Covey’s idea of a clock and a compass that he described in his 1994 book, First Things First. The clock is needed to help us focus on how we use our time, while the compass points us toward where we want to go—our mission, our goal—which we need to have clearly in mind. We need to use both.
4. Focus on the “have-to-get-this-done.” Household chores, work duties, exercise, time for your spouse and children, time alone. If column 1 includes the top four or five things that take up most of your time, and column 2 includes the same number of things that are most important to you, you might be surprised at what you see. At your next birthday, what will you be most proud you achieved?
5. Figure out which time manager you are: the firefighter who sees everything as a fire, the can’t-say-no-to-anything person, the it-can-wait person, or the It’s-needs-just-one-more-touch perfectionist. If you are any of these, you can readily see the errors that need changing in your approach to managing yourself.
6. Consider using one of the many time management apps for you smartphone. I like “2Do: Tasks Done in Style” as one of the better ones available at the iTunes store. You might also find value in reading David Allen’s Getting Things Done, assuming you make the time for reading.
Most importantly, I never think in terms of “getting it ALL done.” Think in terms of getting done what’s truly important and urgent to you now.