The Last Time You'll Ever Need to Read About Time Management
Ever heard someone complain that he or she had too much time on their hands? Thought not. That's why so many thousands of words are written about time management each year. To read every book or article on the subject would leave you with no time for anything else. So Let's Talk editors have compiled a list of the most common time management tips. Here they are....the last words you'll ever need to read on the topic.
Make "To Do" lists. Good time managers make "To Do" lists a regular part of their lives. Keeping a list on paper works best because it's easy and portable. Some people also use time/project management software on their computers or handheld data organizers or they save messages for themselves on any of the new pocketsized recorders.
Get organized. Locating lost tools or misplaced pieces of information to finish a project can take up precious time. To use time more wisely, organize your life and keep it that way. A number of books on organization skills are available. Keep in mind that actualizing one tip can save dozens of hours or more a year.
Be assertive. If you have too much to do, say so. If you could use someone else's help, ask for it. If you're asked to do something you don't have time for, speak up. Assertiveness is about honesty, and good time managers are honest with themselves and others.
Prioritize. Good time managers develop a way to determine which things on their plate have priority. Try using a rating system next to each item on your "To Do" list five stars for the most important projects, one star for the least important. And as you enter items on your list, write down when they should be finished.
Handle each piece of paper only once.This tip appears again and again because so much time is wasted shuffling papers from one pile to the next. There are four things you can do with each piece of paper you receive act on it, file it, give it to someone else or throw it away. Decide which is best for each piece of paper you receive, keeping in mind that 95% of papers filed for more than one year are never used again.
Don't panic. At times when you have too much to do and too little time, don't panic. This only wastes precious time. Instead, take a deep breath and use any of these time management tips to help you focus your attention on what needs to happen.
Eliminate distractions. Good time managers create the environment they need to get the job done. If you need your calls held or if you need to work in an area free from interruption, do it. A few hours of uninterrupted work each day could go far in solving your time management problems.
Make time for the most important things. Ever heard the saying that no tombstone has ever read, "Wish I'd stayed late at the office more often"? Good time managers get the job done, but they also know when and how to make time for their families and themselves. Making time for yourself, your family and the things you enjoy lowers stress, reenergizes you and helps you tackle your workload.
Reprinted with the permission of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.
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