Time-management is self-management or life-management.  Time is the building blocks of life.  “Time is what we want most, and use worst.” (William Penn).  This present minute is all that we have, we must make the most of the minutes we have.  To manage our time, we decide that we will not waste our time and we will fight off laziness and procrastination.  The biggest battles in life you will wage are mostly against your own lethargy, laziness and the tendency to procrastinate.  There are some steps you can take to get better at time management.  Try:

·     The first step you should consider is to do a time evaluation or a time audit.  To move forward the first item is to understand how you are spending your time. You may believe you only spend fifteen minutes on certain tasks and then when you track the time you discover that you spend over one hour and you will learn where the black holes of time wasting live.  Most people watch more TV than they will guess that they do. The time audit will show you where you will need to set limits and where you will redeem time for other important activities.

·     When you determine the tasks you are committing to, use the Pomodoro technique.  You determine the time you need to dedicate for each task or activity. You set the timer and when the timer goes off; you stop and take a quick break and then move on to the next item. This helps me to fight off procrastination because the timer is running and I must finish the task at hand.

·     Use a List but… I identify what the three most important things that I must get done tomorrow. I commit that I will not go to bed tomorrow evening until I have completed the three items I identified as the most important.  I usually have no problem accomplishing the three and a few others.  Make sure that at least one of your important tasks/activities is related to your goals

·     When you identify a task or activity, make sure you put it on your calendar.  Where tasks list come up short is that the items stay on a list and over the time the list grows and expands. When I put something on my calendar, it becomes an appointment and I can see it and plan for it and make sure I work and accomplish the task.  My calendar and timer help me execute the three items I have identified for each day.

·     Have a morning routine.  For most of us this will mean that we must get out of bed a little earlier.  I have found if I have a dedicated morning routine and as a part of that I work on my first task, this helps me to have a sense of accomplishment.  Finishing a task helps me to handle emergencies and unexpected things that may occur during the day.

·     Batch tasks. There are certain tasks necessary to do, but they do not take the same amount of energy as important tasks, things such as email, returning phone calls and filing just to name a few.  I batch them and set my timer and work on them when my energy is low and yet I am still being productive and taking care of things that must be done.

·     Turn off your notifications on your email, phone calls and texts.  Schedule on your calendar a couple times a day to answer email and return calls.

These are just a few of the things I do to manage my time.  I would love to hear what you do to help with time efficiency.  

Blank ring binder planner with index tabs, mobile phone and note pads use for time management in personal or business.

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