1. Prioritize and plan. “Time management is about prioritization, so make sure you’re choosing the priorities rather than allowing them to choose you. Centralize a to-do list and categorize it, so you can take a global view of what’s on your plate and decide the order of importance. This may be electronic or on paper, but either way you need to update the list daily. Proactive planning will allow you to schedule your days in an efficient, rather than a haphazard, manner; revisiting your calendar at the end of each day allows you to reassess, because every day ends up different than you expected it to be.”
2. “No” is a complete sentence. “Saying ‘yes’ when you’re thinking ‘no’ impedes your time mastery like almost nothing else—and it leads to frustration and an utter lack of control over your life. Instead, stop, think and then respond. Stop and then think: ‘What is my reason for doing this? Is it right for me or just to please others?’ If it doesn’t serve a healthy purpose for you, then politely decline.”
3. Get organized. ”Disorganization is the kiss of death for time management. Make a commitment to organize different areas of your life one at a time—perhaps your desk and then your contact list—and follow through. Then, carve out a chunk of time each week to maintain the areas you’ve organized, or you’ll be back in a month or two facing the same daunting task.”
4. Delegate. “Delegation is simply the accomplishment of completing tasks through the efforts of others. Despite what you may think, you’re not the only one who can do every job, so delegate work to the person at the lowest capable level.”
5. Cut back your tech time. ”Constant contact may seem useful, but all those e-mails, phone calls and text messages can be highly disruptive. Manage your phone, text and e-mail time—perhaps checking in once every few hours rather than constantly—and you’ll change your entire existence.”
Published (and copyrighted) in South Jersey Biz, Volume 1, Issue 8 (August, 2011).
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