By Gregg Hall
Do you feel irritated and annoyed during the day because you just feel like you can’t get anything done? Do you feel overwhelmed or disorganized? People who are very successful in their given fields have learned to use effective time management tools and therefore are able to get more done in less time and with less stress. Here are a few ideas to help you manage your time better.
The first thing you have to do is get rid of the clutter and get organized. This is the toughest thing for many people; I know it is for me! If you are one of those whose filing system is the top of their desk and you have papers, notes, and books all over the place then this is where you need to start. Take everything off of your desktop that you don’t use everyday and put the rest in drawers. After you have cleared your mess we can move on to the next step.
The next thing that must be done in order to be successful is to learn to prioritize. Everything is not life or death; you have to learn to distinguish what must be done and what can be delayed. At the beginning of every day tale a few minutes to make a list of tasks that need to be accomplished and then prioritize them in order of importance. One trick that works well is to group the items that must be done that day, then items that should be worked on, and finally those things that can wait. Keep your list with you all the time so that you can get some of the things done like phone calls in down time like waiting in lines of traffic or waiting to pick up the kids at school.
Use time management tools you are comfortable with. If using a regular calendar works for you then by all means use it and don’t feel like you have to learn to use the latest PDA. On the other hand, if are the techie type keep yours with you at all times along with a planner so that you can also write down notes and appointments that may require more than your PDA allows.
Make time to work ahead so that you don’t get behind on projects that are coming up soon. If you get the jump on them it will keep you from getting stressed. Just try to fit in a few hours at night during the week instead of lying around watching TV. Once you get used to it you will be amazed at how much stress it takes away and how much more time it gives you.
Schedule your appointments and other errands in an efficient manner. It just makes sense to take out a map and be sure that you aren’t running back and forth. Plan your destinations in logical order so that you save time and gas by not running all over the city.