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The Ultimate 7 Time Management Tips

Aug 17, 2007
Ever notice that people don't talk about the weather any more? Now it's "Keeping busy?" And of course the answer is "yes." In this day and age of overdoing everything, time management is essential if people are to get all their work done and still have some fun. Read on for seven time management tips that will help you get yourself organized so that you will have more free time.

1. Beat the procrastination habit. Putting things off is almost never a good idea. Sometimes it is worth it to take a few moments to regroup and psyche up for a difficult or unpleasant job, but it won't get done until you get started. A similar rule of thumb for living is to "do the worst first." If you're dragging your feet about making a certain phone call, or tackling a messy job, think how good you'll feel when it's done!

2. Put things away when you are done with them. A big time waster for many people is looking for things that are misplaced. If you can get your equipment and paperwork organized, you can find anything you need in just a few seconds. But you must put the item back where it belongs when you are finished with it, or it will become misplaced. It's possible to spend hours or even days looking for an important piece of paper.

3. Delegate what you can. If your life is overloaded with things to do, look to see if there is someone under you who could take care of some of the easier tasks. For instance, the kids could help you with folding laundry or even answering the phone. At work, farm out those basic tasks to an underling if possible.

4. Establish routines. For many of us, time is wasted every day because we are trying to decide what to do next. When we get routines established, and even written down on paper as guidelines, it can simplify our lives and save time. For instance, you could begin your workday with tasks like check email, return phone calls, and check calendar for appointments. You could have a similar end of workday routine of tidying up your desk, writing out a list of things to do for the next day, and emptying the trash.

5. Say no or find easy options to volunteer activities. For instance, if it's your turn to provide snacks for your child's school event, consider buying cookies ready made instead of devoting several hours to baking and decorating special cupcakes. The same goes for pot luck dinners. Potato salad from the store is probably almost as good as what you can make, but takes a lot less time.

6. Use a timer to motivate yourself to work for a certain length of time. If you have a hard time getting busy with the work you need to do, sometimes it helps to simply set a timer for a short time, for instance 15 minutes, or maybe an hour if it's at work. Tell yourself you can quit when the timer sounds. Often you will be interested in the task by then. If you aren't, at least you've done a little of the task. Take a short break and reset the timer.

7. Think positive! Don't let yourself get bogged down in doubts about your ability to do the project, or about how long it might take. Chances are it won't be anywhere near as bad or time-consuming as you think.
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