Good time management is a valuable skill. For most of us, time management is a daily, lifelong struggle of balance and goal setting and not a natural phenomenon. The following is a top ten of time management practices that successful people use in every aspect of their lives. Remember that time management is a skill that must be studied and practiced before it can become an effectively integrated part of your life. Check it out and happy time managing!
Anyone you talk to has a time saving trick or two up their sleeve, especially dear old mom. Double tasking is a time saver to the max. We all know someone who seems to have this down. Ask them how they do it. Makes them feel good; makes you smarter and a better time manager! Buy a book and modify it to fit your needs. Remember that your time managing will look different than someone else's, depending on your personality, priorities, and goals.
2) DO ONE OR TWO THINGS, AND DO THEM WELL.
Don't over-commit. When you do, you'll find that spreading yourself so thin means that you are doing quantity and not quality work. This can bring on needless feelings of guilt and disappointment that will only raise your stress level. Commit one or two opportunities that you know you can give your best to.
3) IT DOESN'T HAVE TO BE ALL OR NOTHING.
If someone asks you to volunteer to organize a school fair and you don't have enough time or energy but still want to help, offer to take on a smaller role, like helping to create the flyer or being on the clean up crew. This help is still appreciated and will allow someone more willing to step into the organizer's role.
Live by this motto: If you scratch my back, then I'll scratch yours! If your neighbor asks you to dog sit their pooch, ask them to watch your kids one afternoon to free up some time to do errands. You'll both benefit!
5) JUST SAY NO.
No more mister (or misses) nice guy! Let your yes be your yes, and your no be your no. If you make a habit of saying yes or maybe when asked to do something, people assume that you want to do it and will be very disappointed if you then change your mind. It's better to say no right away when you realize it's not your cup of tea. If you drag things out because you feel guilty, you will feel much worse later when you say no and realize you've let people down.
6) TAME YOUR TO DO LIST.
My to do list can sometimes get overwhelmingly long. Experts say that you should limit the number of items eligible to make the list each day. I recommend no more than seven items. Next, you should list things from most to least important. When executing your prioritized list, be sure that you have thoroughly and successfully completed the first item before moving down the list. Your goal isn't to check everything off the list but to get the most important things done. This practice can be very revealing of your priorities and help guide future time management.
7) DO THINGS YOU ENJOY
People often say yes out of guilt. Break out of this cycle and say yes to things that you truly WANT to do. Effective time managers will tell you that they don't get involved with things that don't interest them at all. This practice will open up your schedule to say yes to things you like and build your self -esteem. Couldn't we all use more self-esteem?
8) SCHEDULE YOUR LIFE.
A schedule is a good way for you to map out your week and to see how much time you want to spend on different activities. It's also a chance to honor the things that make you happy. Include playtime with the kids, enough sleep to keep you mentally sharp, physical activities you enjoy, movie night, etc. Update your schedule as needed.
9) GET ORGANIZED.
You don't have to go overboard with organizing your things but when you can't find something fairly easily, you spend minutes to hours a day LOOKING for things. Talk about a waste of time! Start with simple organizers like colored bins: red for coupons, green for bills, and yellow for outgoing mail. Designate ten minutes each Sunday afternoon to go through the bins until they are EMPTY. For the more advanced organizer and shoe collector, put your shoes in individual shoeboxes and slap a picture of the shoes on the outside. You'll be surprised at much time you'll shave off of your morning beautification!
10) REFLECT ON THE DAY.
Don't blindly manage your time. Take a few minutes at the end of each day to evaluate your time management execution. Did you procrastinate? Did you waste time doing unimportant things? What do you need to do tomorrow to be more effective? Did you spend some good "me" time? This isn't a time to break yourself down but to build yourself up and help you keep focus on your goals. Remember that each day is a new day and new opportunity to enjoy life!