Time Management Fundamentals
Time management is a fickle bitch. What works for one person isn’t what works for the next. You have seen a ridiculous amounts of applications, methods, programs and tactics to help you use your time more wisely.
Allotting our time in a productive way is a problem we all struggle with. It seems as though we all stray from the fundamentals. Below are some reminders we all need to hear from time to time.
Have a game plan
Having a game plan, whether it be a to-do list written on paper or an elaborate plan mind mapped to perfection, will help you focus on the task(s) at hand. You need to know what you must get done and what you can set aside for later.
One tactic I have used in the past, is to have a main project and several little tasks. Many of the little things can be done while you are taking a break or waiting for a response. The small tasks are things that have no real delivery time, but still need to be done.
One thing at a time
You are probably well adept at working on 17 things all at once. It feels like you are standing still when you only have 1 or 2 things to do. But how much attention can you really put into those 17 things?
If you focus all of that energy on one thing, you will get it done in less time with greater results.
Work with your body clock
Do you tend to get more done first thing in the morning? Maybe you get a rush of inspiration right before bed. Try to embrace these times for a couple of weeks and see what you can get done.
This is something I am really starting to take notice of. I am more focused and have more energy after 3PM. I am finding, no matter how much I try, the mornings are not a productive time for me.
More and more people are using web enabled devices (i.e. Blackberry, iPhone, Android…). This can be a great way to keep things readily available and organized. However, you need to know how to use your device to its full potential. Most of the people I talk to know what they need to know—email, SMS, calling and calendar—and nothing else. They are missing out on all of the other stuff these things do.
Look for applications that sync with your computer or other accounts. If you need to spend time looking for the most current version of your to-do list or document, how much time are you really saving? Appworld, Android Marketplace and the iTunes App store are all great places to dig around to see what is available. Type in a phrase like time management and see what pops up. Remember, you are looking for something that extends the applications you already use.
Set aside time for yourself
You don’t need to work all the time, there are other things to do with your time. Spend time with your family, relax a little. Hell, take a nap in the middle of the day once in a while. You need to recharge your batteries or you will end up living on caffeine and sugar.
What other time management fundamentals do you have to share?
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