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3 Time Management Tips That Will Improve Your Health and Productivity

Urgent ≠ Important

Time management can be tough. What is urgent in your life and what is important to your life are often very different things:

  • going to the gym today isn't urgent, but it is important for your long–term health.
  • eating real, unprocessed foods isn't required for you to stay alive right now but will reduce your risk of cancer and disease.

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3 Time Management Tips That Will Improve Your Health and Productivity

3 Time Management Tips That Will Improve Your Health and Productivity

https://jamesclear.com/time-management-tips

jamesclear.com

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Key Ideas

Urgent ≠ Important

Time management can be tough. What is urgent in your life and what is important to your life are often very different things:

  • going to the gym today isn't urgent, but it is important for your long–term health.
  • eating real, unprocessed foods isn't required for you to stay alive right now but will reduce your risk of cancer and disease.

Eliminate half-work at all costs

Examples of half-work:

  • You start writing a report but stop randomly to check your phone for no reason or to open up Facebook or Twitter.
  • You try out a new workout routine. Two days later, you read about another “new” fitness program and try a little bit of that. You make little progress in either program and so you start searching for something better.
  • Your mind wanders to your email inbox while you're on the phone with someone.

Do the most important thing first

Decisions and choices that you make throughout the day tend to drain your willpower. You're less likely to make a good decision at the end of the day than you are at the beginning.

If you do the most important thing first, then you’ll never have a day when you didn’t get something important done.

Stick to the schedule

For example, you decide to run 3 miles in the afternoon, but during the day your schedule got crazy and now you only have 20 minutes to workout.

If you reduce the scope, but stick to the schedule, instead of running 3 miles, you run 1 mile or do five sprints or 30 jumping jacks. You get a workout in no matter what.

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What Time Management Is

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.

...

Eat That Frog!

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.

Failure to execute

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.

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Single Task

Switching between tasks can have damaging costs to our work and productivity.

Develop the habit of single-tasking by forcing your brain to concentrate on one task and one task only. Put your phone away, close all the browser windows and apps that you don’t need. Immerse yourself in this task. Only move to the next one when you’re done.

Brian Tracy
Brian Tracy

Time management is not a peripheral activity or skill. It is the core skill upon which everything else in life depends.” 

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Goals provide structure to your work

 ... by giving you a prioritized list of things to get done.

They help you to identify your priorities, outline what you want to achieve when you want to ach...

Craig Jarrow
Craig Jarrow

“By saying no, you are giving yourself the ability and bandwidth to say yes to the things that are more important.”

Matt Mayberry
Matt Mayberry

“If you often find yourself run down by your daily workload or overwhelmed by the complexity of projects and tasks in your life, it is likely because you have not fully mastered effective time management.”

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Take Stock and Track Your Time

You can’t really clean up your schedule if you don’t know what’s in it—and that includes all the things on your literal and official calendar and all the things that aren’t. 

Purge Recurring Meetings and Tasks

Once you know what’s on your calendar, ask yourself: “What is the purpose of each thing on here? Are we accomplishing that or does something need to change?” 

Question each task. Start with recurring meetings, which can very easily build up and take over your calendar.

Sort Things By Importance and Urgency

... and put them in one of four quadrants:

  • Quadrant I: Important, Urgent (crises, last-minute meetings for important deadlines)
  • Quadrant II: Important, Not Urgent (strategic planning, long-term goal setting)
  • Quadrant III: Not Important, Urgent (certain emails, phone calls, meetings, and events)
  • Quadrant IV: Not Important, Not Urgent (scrolling mindlessly through social media, binge-watching TV you don’t really care about).

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There isn’t enough time
Complaining that you don’t have enough time is not getting to the root problem. It may be that you’re lousy at time management. Admit to yourself that there is enough time -- you just don’t know how t...
A one size fits all solution

Instead of relying on a tool with all the bells and whistles, find out where you’re struggling and what’s essential for you. 

For example, if scheduling is taking you away from product development, then you could use a scheduling tool that uses machine learning to automate most of your scheduling needs. If you’re wasting too much time on email, then consider using a tool to help tame your inbox.

Less anxiety

Time management is only useful when you’re aware of your limitations and don't let the system dictate your entire life. 

In other words, when you don’t tread lightly (especially at first), time management can add more stress to your life.

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