Time management – What’s the secret?
Written by Idea File Staff
The best approach to managing your time is the approach that works best for you. There are many general suggestions that can be made to guide you in the right direction, but you may have to adapt these “formulas” to fit your specific life-style. Remember to keep your life under control!
No matter where your time management problem areas are, a good first step to getting this under control is to PRIORITIZE. Start by taking the time to write out the things you would like to accomplish that day (It’s also a good idea to include actions directed toward long-term goals). Then, prioritize the items according to deadlines, accountability, need, etc.
Clean vs. Messy Desk
Again, use what works for you. Some people function better when files, etc., are in their “correct” place. Others, however, know exactly where to find what they need in all that “clutter.” The important thing is that you can still function well and locate the materials you need when you need them.
Some people must complete one task before beginning another, while others jump from project to project without a second thought. As long as you can remain motivated with fresh ideas and energy, your work should not suffer from either approach. The important thing to remember is to concentrate on the task at hand. When you mind is preoccupied with a different project, problem or idea, then it often takes you as much as three time the amount of time to complete the current job.
Decontaminate Your Time
This relates to the problem of staying focused in the moment. If your time is contaminated, then you don’t get the full benefits of either work (peak productivity) or play (relaxation). Learning how to fully concentrate on working (stop thinking about play time) or playing (stop feeling guilty about your time off), will help you become a more effective manager of time. The best way to decontaminate your time is through BALANCE. Sometimes the best way to focus is to take a break and return to the task with a refreshed outlook (this could mean joy breaks at work or going back to work during play time). It always helps to REMEMBER YOUR LONG-TERM GOALS.
“If you obey all the rules you miss all the fun.” -Katherine Hepburn
Sometimes you have to adjust the traditional time management approach to fit your individual needs. Getting there is half the fun!