The morning to-do list! You’ve re-written it four times this week, and its only Wednesday. You’ve carried over some of these tasks for days on end, and they haven’t been completed. There is only so much time in a day, and you are struggling to get everything done. We look at the calendar, and we are less than 2-months from the Christmas season where there is even more to do. Shopping, get together, family dinners, and work parties.
You look around you, and see others getting everything done. No stress lines appear on anyone in your inner circles face. How are they getting it all done?
Analyze the people who you feel are stress free. Take a close look at people who have similar lives as you do. You know, same neighborhood, size of family, schools, etc. Try to identify what they are doing that has an effect on their productivity. Can you copy it? As I have said in the past, R&D … rip off and duplicating a system is a lot faster than building a new one.
I have written numerous times about time management ideas. Here are some links to my previous posts to try to stimulate some ideas. In the end, you cannot manage time itself. You can only manage the efforts that you put into certain time blocks.
Previous Blogs on Time Management
This tip is one of my favorite, and I practice it all the time. I wrote this September 2015.
Also in 2015 I wrote this on the top 10 things you can do to improve.
Most of these tips have a common theme. It is simply that you need a routine, you need to live by it, and stick to it. When you are putting together your schedule, give yourself enough time to be interrupted or make a mistake. I know it’s exactly 22 minutes for me to drive to the airport, park, and get to the TSA line. When I schedule my day, I give myself 45 minutes in case there is a traffic issue, or I get a phone call, or have run a bit late on the previous item on my schedule. When I arrive at my gate early, it is not a surprise, and I have things to do on my list in case I have extra time.
Once you know how to block enough time for tasks, then do it! Schedule your day, every day. Get up earlier, spend 20-30 minutes reviewing your big projects, goals, and dreams, and determine each day what you MUST work on. Put it in your calendar and do not deviate. Whether it’s “The One Thing” that Gary Keller writes in his book, or the four most important things to you that week, that is taught in the Ziglar Goal Setting workshops that I facilitate. Keep your schedule with you at all times, be it paper or digital, it doesn’t matter.
Here is a test for you. Over the next 2-3 weeks, try getting up early to schedule your day, every day (including weekends). Pick one thing that you want to do, that is not already on your schedule, but something that is important to you. Block that one thing, and practice this. If you do this for three weeks, I can assure you that you are going in the right direction. Monitor your success. Did you complete 60, 70 or 80% of those items? Celebrate those little victories. Remember, you don’t have to be 100% to be successful! You have to be better than you were. If you are reading this blog, you are concerned about your skills, and any improvement should be considered a positive.
When you get comfortable with this time blocking idea, I want you to read another article I wrote that can help you schedule and manage tasks over a longer period of time. This is a very short article, but the message and ideas are excellent. Click Here to take you to that article and bookmark it for future reference.
Regardless of your situation, your position, marital status, or profession, getting things done well, and on time, is important. Build a system that works for you. Learn from the above articles and pick and choose the way you want to work, and that works best for your situation. If you improve at all, you win!