Category Archives: Time Management

How to make your To-Do list work for you

End of day To-Do ListDo you feel overwhelmed with thing you need to do and that there are not enough hours in the day. Well, you are not alone. To increase your productivity, time management, and reduce stress levels you need to create effective and efficient to-do lists. By creating organized lists you will be able to create a healthy balance between life and work.

It is simple to create your to-do list and it could change your life but there is a right way and wrong way when creating your list. Whether you are creating a shopping list or planning a vacation, there are simple ways to and mistakes that most people make that prevent the list from being effective.

In order to create an effective list you need to understand that not all task are created equal. Given the pressures we face both at work and home, it is important to make efficient lists and focus on things that matter. When you create a list you need to place each item in context – energy-based context, time-based context, priority-based context, and work/life-based context.

Here are few ideas to help you create efficient and productive to-do lists:

Separate you lists – Create separate lists for different areas of you life. Avoid mixing work and personal life tasks into one list. By separating your lists will help you to view list without the need and time wasting task of deciphering and prioritizing.

Create one place for all you lists – Avoid using scraps of paper and envelopes to create lists. Keep all you lists in one place that is easily accessible. Keeping your lists where you can access them quickly will make all the difference. It could a notepad that you keep in your bag or an app that you could reference across digital platforms.

Why do lists keep on growing – Make a daily to-do lists and prioritize each item. Place the most important things to do in separate list. Always be sure to pace things on your lists that you have time and resources to complete. Smaller lists will set you up for confidence booster daily wins and allow you to move on to the next task.

Outsource and delegate tasks – Even if you are able to complete a task on your list does not mean you need to do it. Take a look at your to-do items and identify which items you can delegate and free up your time.

Organize your mind and thoughts – A to-do list will help you organize your mind and give you the opportunity to plan your actions and get all your task done. Writing down your task send a strong message to your subconscious, enabling you to take action and get things done.

Start feeling productive – It is always a great feeling being able to look at your lists and see that everything has been checked off. This gives you back control. It also gives you a positive productive feeling and this alone is worth keeping lists for.

Let your to-do list create order – Creating a to-do list will help you stay focused and improve your productivity. Break down all the things to need to do from one long list into separate manageable lists. A to-do list not only creates order but also gives you a strategy for getting things done.

Improve your time management – There are many time management techniques to help you keep organized and efficient. A good to-do one way for you to quickly and effortlessly get into the habit of time management like a professional… which in turn will help you achieve your goals!

Keep lists organized and current – there is change that every time you look at your to-do list you become overwhelmed and stressed. Organize you on a daily basis  or even go as far as making your list hour by hour. Separate your lists by day, project, deadline. Go one step further and separate personal and work lists.

Reduce your stress levels – Getting things done and moving forward efficiently will give you the chance to sit back and relax, and take that well-deserved break.

Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.

Productivity tips that are unproductive

Productivity tips

There are many experts and studies that offer us tips and advice on how to be more productive. Many of these tips actually work for most of us but not for everyone. There are however many productivity tips that are not only myths but also prevent you from getting your work done. The main explanations for this is that instead of boosting your effectiveness, they propose solutions whereby you organize your work and task in an unnatural and unproductive way.

Here are few common productivity tip and myths and how to fix them:

Never check you email first thing when you arrive at work – Checking you email first thing can ruin your daily schedule. This might be difficult in our fast-paced life and might even increase your anxiety. the solution for this is to check you email but only reply if it takes less than a few minutes. If need be reply with a simple answer to say that you have received the email and will reply later in the day in more details. Going through your email is actually a good thing and a good use of time. It give you time to think of a good response.

We always are told to do the most difficult task first – This seems good logic and strategy, however your hardest task might take more time than you think and, in turn, ruin your schedule. This approach might even deflate you hopes for a productive day. Instead, ease into your tasks and get your momentum going by doing simpler tasks. This will help you to free up the needed time for those more difficult tasks on your to-do list.

Organize your day and  create a master to-do list – It is a good idea to get all the things you need to do out of your head and on paper. But after you have made your list it might then be difficult to pick and choose  what you need to do first. The way to create a master list is to divide your list into actionable tasks and go further and put things in categories.

Everyone tells us to stop multitasking and focus – There are plenty of people who state that they are fully capable and masters of multitasking and are able to juggle multiple projects a once. I understand this because i am one of those people as long as I keep track of everything. Honestly, stress can be a goo things and make you more productive. The answer is if tone selective in the task you choose to do simultaneously.

The more hours you work, the more you will get done – More hours does not mean more will be accomplished. It is logical to pull an all-night at college or for you boss to ask you stay late. The reality is that more hours doesn’t equal more work, and in fact, longer hours usually leads to worse results, lower productivity, and an unhappy, less healthy you.

Our worst enemy is procrastination – Procrastination is seen as something we need to tackle and avoid. Most people think that doing nothing is viewed as a  waste o time.  It is true that procrastination can waste precious tie and make sure that your to-list never get done. Having said this, we must also remember that we need to give our bodies and mind a chance to recharge. If be banish procrastination. it might mean be causing more harm than good to your mental health.

Always make sure your workspace is clean and organized – Many professionals will tell you that in order to get your work done you need to have a clean and tidy desk with everything place. But this does not work for everyone. Research has shown that a mess y workspace might lead to  lower efficiency, but in some cases clutter might make people more efficient, help make decisions, and feel more creative. It all depend on the individual person.

Working from home or cafe can be unproductive – Working from home can be a challenge but it can also increase productivity. There are studies that have shown that background noise in cafe is good for creativity and helps people focus. In a nutshell, it all comes down to the individual and personal preferences.

Procrastination prevention tips

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Procrastination is a terrible habit that we develop and once it has developed it is very hard to stop. In order to prevent procrastination we need to have impeccable self-discipline. Here are some guides to help you stop procrastinating and just go for it.

We only have the present

Remember that there is only today and what you do today determines who you are tomorrow. When you procrastinate it adds to tomorrow and can turn it into a mess. Think about that advert you saw for your dream job and thought “I will do it later” and when you came back a while later the applications were closed and you missed your chance. By preventing procrastination you also relieve stress by not adding to the work you have. Once you get used to doing a task as you get it you will start a flow and you will break the habit of procrastination.

When will there be another time?

We all have that line “I will start on Monday”. Why? Do it as you think of it because once you start that process of pushing your tasks out further and further it becomes a pattern in your life and eventually you will never get anything done. No more excuses you don’t need them.

Task done = Relief

Once you start doing those tasks you have been pushing away it will be as if someone has taken that massive weight that has been sitting on your shoulders and thrown it away. The feeling of freedom you receive from finally getting all those tasks out the way is so uplifting it will push you to do it more often and once again start to you rid you of your procrastination habits.

Don’t give up

If the above steps don’t seem to be working, then create a daily to-do list and on every list write those tasks. Once you start seeing that task every day on your list you will eventually do it. Most importantly do not take it off your list until you have succeeded and completed the task.

Think About the Repercussions

If all of these steps fail you think about the negative side of not completing these tasks. Think about the stress it will cause or the possible bad reviews from employers and co-workers. Think about how it could have an effect on you in the future and possible employment.

That is why action is important. Talking, planning, discussing are not actions. They won’t move anything. Only in doing, things get completed. You want to prevent procrastination. Do it NOW, on your own. No one can do it for you. There is power in action and that power can be used to stop procrastinating.

Time management tips to balance your life

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Managing ones time is critical in creating a balanced life style. Are you looking to improve your productivity and create a balance between work and your personal life? Here are some time management tips to balance your life. Choose one of these tips that appeal to you NOW. Then come back later to review these and commit to the next one.

  • Start work within five minutes of sitting down at your desk and switching on your computer.
  • Value your time and other people will do the same.
  • When things get really pressurized and you’re tight for time, ignore email completely.
  • We’re all equal when it comes to time.
  • Get into the habit of switching off email whenever you can.
  • Use your time for the things that are worth it.
  • Do not procrastinate.
  • End your working day at a fixed time.
  • Sleep!
  • Schedule your Social Sharing
  • Do a time audit for one week and look at exactly where your time is going.
  • Limit the things that drain your time and energy. Then, with the time you do have you’ll get more done in a focused, energized way.
  • We all need down time.
  • We regularly underestimate how long something will take us. Factor this in!

The Importance of Time Management

 

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In our lives we have to take control and make time work for us and not the other way around. Remember that only you can make the changes!

In order to manage our time more effectively often this means stepping back from the daily bustle of our lives, taking time to look at the ways in which we work and considering the tasks we need to accomplish. It is easy to become a slave to routine, even if we are fully aware that the routine isn’t getting the desired results.

‘Be prepared” is a motto that worked for the Scouts and it is equally applicable today. Arming ourselves with effective coping strategies is the first step to taking back control of our time.

Here are some tips:

  • Don’t try to do too many things at once and don’t feel guilty about having weekends and evenings to yourself.
  • Take breaks. As time passes, energy levels decrease, boredom sets in and you will start making mistakes.
  • Try to be proactive rather than reactive. Don’t just react to incidents but plan what you are going to do, taking into account any potential problems.
  • Don’t try to be perfect. There is a difference between wanting to achieve excellence and the neurosis of wanting to be perfect..
  • Don’t become a workaholic and let work interfere with all the other things that you would like to do.
  • Don’t reinvent the wheel. If the resources that are available aren’t quite what you want, try to adapt them to meet your needs.

Just Say No
People inevitably make demands on our time. It is very often hard to say no, as we don’t want to appear rude or uncooperative. However, unless we learn to be assertive and say no to others when the situation demands it, we really shouldn’t be the ones complaining when our own tasks remain unfinished at the end of the day.

Saying no to people isn’t about being negative, bossy or aggressive. It doesn’t mean that you score points off colleagues or put people down. It is about using your time as you see fit and not allowing colleagues to automatically assume that they can pass work on to you.

You have the right to:

  • Express your own feelings and opinions.
  • Expect colleagues to respect who you are and what you do.
  • Have your views and ideas listened to and taken seriously.
  • Manage your time in an appropriate and professional way.

Communication is the Key

When asked to do something and you cannot immediately fit it into your schedule:

  • Summarise the problem simply and straightforwardly.
  • State exactly how you feel.
  • Describe clearly and simply why you feel like this.
  • Sympathise or empathise with the other person’s point of view.
  • Specify exactly when you will be available.
  • Decide what you would ideally like to do.
  • Compromise if possible.

Be careful with your time – it is a precious commodity use it wisely and you will get much more achieved than you ever thought possible.