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Time Tips

Top 10 Time Management Tips

1. CREATE PLANNING-REFLECTING TIMErepare your material

Today's world is too fast and busy to operate without a plan. Set aside at least an hour a week for yourself. Use it to reflect on who you are and where you want to be. The 3 key words in time management are "plan, schedule, and eliminate." When you set aside regular planning time, you have a chance to work on all three.

2. SET LIFETIME AND ANNUAL GOALSrepare your material

This helps you build the best you. It's your chance to accomplish your own plan, not someone else's. Plan big and schedule what you plan. Eliminate everything else. Without knowing your goals, your days will fill up with interruptions and activities, since you won't know what to say "no" to, and you'll end up with nothing for you.

3. ESTABLISH WEEKLY PLANSrepare your material

Goals are wishes with due dates so put your goals in writing — the deadlines too — and track them on a weekly basis. This helps you make certain your ongoing weekly goals link to your lifetime plan.

4. CARRY A PLANNER-ORGANIZERrepare your material

It's too difficult to focus on priorities if you try to operate "in your head." Get an organizer that suits your work and lifestyle. Carry it with you at all times. Fill it with notes, dreams, and ideas so your head is clear to focus on the big stuff -- planning, creating, learning, and prioritizing.

5. USE THE 80/20 RULErepare your material

19th Century economist Vilfredo Pareto noticed that a small percentage of any activity yields the majority of the results. Using this theory, you want to focus your energy on the 20% of tasks that give you your greatest result. Avoid the rest. You'll work less and accomplish more.

6. PRIORITIZE YOUR DAILY TASKSrepare your material

Yes, the day will change and, yes, you'll get interrupted, but with a prioritized plan you'll be able to get back on track faster and more easily. No matter how busy it gets, keep from starting any day without knowing your key morning and afternoon priorities.

7. SET UP DAILY TIME BLOCKSrepare your material

Consider your optimum energy times and then set up time blocks for handling your priorities. Start key priorities early in the day so you'll have back up opportunities if and when you get sidetracked with changes and interruptions.

8. RECOGNIZE THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN EFFICIENCY AND EFFECTIVENESSrepare your material

When you work on efficiency, you're trying to speed up and do things faster. That's ok, but it leads to lots of stress. When you're effective, you're doing the right things. That's when you plan, schedule, learn, create, refresh. (It's possible to work efficiently around the clock and never succeed. Work effectively and you'll achieve your goals.)

9. WATCH OUT FOR OLD HABITSrepare your material

Put the power of momentum on your side. The psychologist William James taught us that we could change any habit in 30 days. Thus, help yourself by setting up systems for doing routine tasks in a specific way, at a specific time, in a specific place. Create "activity centers" for correspondence, phone calls, accounting, etc., complete with all the necessary supplies and equipment. Then you won't waste time looking for needed items, or wondering what to do, when and how.

10. CLEAR OUT THE CLUTTERrepare your material

Remember "eliminate" is a key time management word so, if you don't need that paper or file right now, file it or get rid of it. You don't want to look at it or it will distract you from today's key priorities. Note: tell yourself on your calendar in your planner where you put the file or paper and then you'll know where it is if and when you need it later.

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