Time Management

There is an old adage that if you want something done ask a busy man. Time management is all about getting things done.  How to motivate yourself to start and then complete tasks, how to avoid clutter, procrastination and other time wasting, how to make sure you don’t get swamped by enormous tasks.  If you Google “Time Management” you’ll get oodles of sites to explore.  This one - http://www.mindtools.com/pages/main/newMN_HTE.htm - particularly appeals to me but others might find it a bit earnest, breathless, off-putting.

Different people will offer different advice but my own favourite tips are:-

  • Maintain a “To do” list with sections for:-
    • Urgent (do today)
    • Important (get started soon)
    • Desirable (I’ll probably never do these but I don’t want to admit it)
  • Be realistic (or slightly optimistic) in what you can do in a day.  Possibly, if you like this, allocate time slots for all the tasks you’ve given yourself for today.  If you totally failed to do what you thought you could, ask yourself why and take action to avoid repetitions
  • Prevarication is a killer.  If something needs doing, do it.  If it doesn’t need doing, forget it.  Don’t waste hours trying to make your mind up.  If you make the occasional wrong decision, don’t worry just put it right.  If really stuck with a decision examine the worst possible consequences of getting it wrong.  In most cases (ie pretty well everything except deciding who to marry) you can live with the consequences so just plough on.
  • Start the first task and don’t stop till it’s finished.  Then do the next
  • Keep a diary for appointments.  Book your holiday dates early, even if not the actual holiday.
  • Be punctual
  • Give yourself a clear working environment.  File or store the tools and records etc that you need to get to so you know where they are.  Don’t clutter the work place.  Move finished work off to where it has to go.
  • Allow time for relaxation – don’t try to do everything at one go – Rome wasn’t built in a day