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Time is our precious resource. It is perishable, it is irreplaceable, and it cannot be saved. It can only be reallocated from activities of lower value to activities of higher value.

Time management refers to how you schedule and organize your time for different activities.

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Time Management Tips That Will Make You a Productivity Master

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Your “frog” is your most important task, the one you are most likely to procrastinate on if you don’t do something about it.

If you have two important tasks, start your day with the biggest, hardest, and most important task first. Focus on completing it before you go to the next one.

We tend to confuse activity with accomplishment: we attend endless meetings and make plans, but at the end of the day, no one does the job and gets the results required.

“Failure to execute” is among the biggest problems in organizations today.

  • Develop a sense of urgency: the habit of moving fast when an opportunity presents itself to you.
  • Stop procrastinating: develop the time management habit of moving quickly when something needs to be done.
  • Work in real-time: do your work as soon as it comes up.
  • Think on paper: Always write down what you intend to do.
  • Avoid distractions: They make getting off track entirely too easy.
  • Make your list of written tasks the night before: The better plan you have, the easier it is for you to get started.
  • Make a to-do list for every day: One of the best time management tools you can develop.
  • Make your to-do lists a habit: When something new comes up, add it to the list.
  • Check off your completed tasks: This activity gives you a sense of accomplishment and generates the motivation to keep going.
  • Answer all of your emails at the same time
  • Keep your emails short and sweet
  • Create email folders
  • Check your email twice a day.
  • Not allowing enough time to complete your task: Add sufficient cushion time to complete every step of the project. 
  • Assuming that everything will work out all right: Assume that you are going to have problems and schedule sufficient time and resources to solve those problems.
  • Rushing at the end: You almost invariably will make mistakes and do poor quality work that you'll have to go back and correct later. 
  • Trying to do several things at once: You end up doing nothing well. 
  • "A” items are most important: the things that you must do.
  • "B” items only have minor consequences: tasks that you should do, but they only have mild consequences.
  • “C” tasks have no consequences: they have no effect at all on your work life.
  • “D” for delegate: the things that you can delegate to someone else.
  • “E” for eliminate: the things you should eliminate altogether.

For you to develop sufficient desire to develop time management and organizational skills, you must be intensely motivated by the benefits you feel you will enjoy. 

You must want the results badly enough to overcome the natural inertia that keeps you doing things the same old way.

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  • Set deadlines to prioritize tasks with upcoming deadlines.
  • Focus on 20% of the tasks that bring 80% of results. 
  • Separate urgent from important. Urgent tasks require immediate action, whereas important tasks have more significant and long-term consequences. Prioritize tasks that are both urgent and important.
  • Learn to say “no”. Don’t hesitate to politely refuse tasks and activities that are irrelevant to your goals.

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IDEAS

The Chatty Cathy

You’re very eager to socialize and every interaction with you becomes a long drawn out conversation - especially if there's an unpleasant task dawning that you'd like to put off.

Solution: Plan your day to focus yourself on work and get your daily tasks organized. Remind yourself that work and social are different spheres and that work comes first. (You may have to do this repeatedly throughout the day if you're an extremely social person.) 

Do

Simply put, act on your tasks. The 2-minute rule can help with that:  If you can complete a task in two minutes or less, do it now.

It's amazing what you can accomplish in just 120 seconds: write an email, make a quick phone call, pull a report and so on.