A lot of resources are available in books, in conferences and training as well as on the internet about time management but somehow a lot of people are still struggling. Someone might say that it’s because there’s a lot of not-so-useful stuff out there but that can hardly be the reason. This is because apart from a lot of half-baked trashy stuff that people might find on the internet or anywhere else, a lot of the real and useful knowledge also gets around a lot.
So apart from misinformation, part of the reason why people are no able to make use of important tips is that (i) they hear it in too many places and (ii) they don’t take time to go over them over and over again until it sticks. I’m sure there are many more reasons but I feel these are important.
So, back to the issue of time management; here are three very important tips that anyone who wants to do better in this area should never forget:
Set Your Priorities Right
You need to have a list (yes, a list) of what your priorities are. Write down the things you need to do in the order of their importance; don’t just decide in your mind and think you can work with that. You can but there’s the chance that you might forget some of the things on that mental list.
Once you have your priorities sorted out, then deal with them in order of their importance. Don’t do things haphazardly; it actually wastes more time.
Do The Hardest Stuff First
In case you’re wondering, this does not negate the first point in anyway. Tackling the hardest or most difficult tasks come in two folds. The first thing is for you to tackle the most difficult aspects of the task at hand first in order to get it done faster. This is because hard stuff takes more time and you should tackle them when you have more energy and have more focus.
The second part is that in sorting out your priorities, you should give consideration to those difficult tasks that will take more of your time and energy. Put them in the top priority area of your list; unless they are really unimportant. Then you can leave them where they belong and apply the first principle of hardest tasks first when you get to them.
Make Every Minute Count
What does this even mean? Well, it means, don’t laze around when you have stuff to do. Don’t leave sorting out your work clothes for the week till Sunday evening or Monday morning or every day when you wake up when you could have taken care of it over the weekend. I hope you get the idea.
Effective time management still boils down to one very important belief- time is so important, you cannot afford to waste it. Until you truly believe, you won’t be able to find the will power to implement all those time management techniques you keep reading about.
Stop procrastinating and make the best of your time; that is the ultimate time-management tip.