When we speak of Time Management, we are not speaking of List Management. These are two separate actions. Time Management can only be accomplished by Proper Daily Planning. It is a method of working out how to use the hours in your day. It is the only way to achieve maximum effectiveness.
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Regardless how you accomplish them, there are some basics in planning your work day. Let’s discover some basic rules tips and suggestions that can help truly spend our time wisely. Let’s face it, our days are like bank accounts. Rather than being filled with dollars they are filled with hours and they are refilled to capacity each day. Perhaps we should use this asset as efficiently as we can. Here are some tips:
1.Planning is a separate function. Don’t mix planning and working. Plan first; then work. It’s best to plan at the end of the day for the next, or at the beginning of the day just starting.
2.We don’t work 24/7. So it’s important to establish our duty hours. This can be our work period on the job, or even extend beyond our standard office time. For work-at-home folks this period may begin early and end late. We should establish a specific start time and an end time.
3.There are two types of tasks. One is the Goal Oriented task which moves us along in life and gets our goals done. The other type of task could be called “Overhead” tasks. These are the ones that are routine and includes meals, exercise, routine errands, and the like. Our first action is to thoroughly establish what our overhead tasks are and how long each will take. These should be written somewhere (on paper or computer) along with the durations.
4.Next we should establish which Goal-Oriented Tasks we want to finish on this day . Each must be specific. These can be complete tasks or milestones which are part of a larger program. Estimate the time it will take to FINISH each action. As this is done, write each task and its duration on a Daily Planning Sheet.
5.A well-managed day must be realistic. There are always unexpected actions. You Daily Plan should set aside a definite amount of time (30, 60 or more minutes) for the UNEXPECTED. This will also give you the awareness so you can control these events.
6.Once you have your Goal-Oriented and your Overhead tasks established you sort your Goal-Oriented Tasks into the order you want to do them. It is best to do the most important and the most difficult first.
7.There is nothing quite as effective as a countdown timer to keep you focused. When you begin a task, set the timer for the duration and hit start. While it is counting down to its alarm you vow to do nothing else but that action. You will be amazed how this will increase your effectiveness.
Regardless how you do it, if you work out some way to do the above seven points you will absolutely increase your production and management of your days like you’ve never seen before. This can be accomplished with a simple paper Daily Planning Sheet, a pen, a time and a calculator. Or, the best, you can use a computer. We have found that the common SpreadSheet is one of the most effective ways (such as Excel). You can set up a template of whatever sophistication you wish that can manage your tasks, keep track of the amount of time left in your work day, sort your lists and even handle the countdown functions. Regardless of its simplicity, any system will be better than nothing. Just make sure the above 7 suggestions are kept in mind, somehow, and you’ll discover an ease of mind that you’ve not experienced before. It’s an feeling we can only get by knowing that we are moving towards our goals in as efficient a way as we can.
While you’re at it check out our day planning software.