Over the years I feel that my time management skills have improved. I was able to work crazy hours, go to college, and still party while my peers couldn’t even hold jobs. Now that I compare myself to people like Mike and other bloggers that have a full-time job and a family, I realize that maybe my time management skills aren’t the greatest. In fact, I’m amazed by how much work others can get done within the same 24-hours. This is why today I wanted to open up the discussion on time management and productivity.
Some thoughts, tips, and opinions on time management:
Stop trying to be so efficient.
Efficiency is often overrated. Eating breakfast while you drive to work and call your boss on the phone is not so efficient. Sure you get three important things done at once, but you risk a major accident. I’ve found over the years that by trying to be efficient all of the time I’m just putting unnecessary stress on myself. Do we really need to be efficient 24/7?
Customize your schedule.
Just like with budgeting you can’t lie to yourself. You need to work with your weaknesses. If you spend an hour every night watching tv don’t expect for this to change over night. Telling yourself that you’ll workout for two hours every evening and then come home to work on your eBook isn’t realistic if you’ve never done this before. As you work on becoming more productive I find that it helps if you allow more breathing room into your schedule.
To tie in with the previous point you must accept certain realities. I wanted to finish this post the other night. Well I got side tracked writing a post on time management (sounds dumb I know). I wasn’t feeling too ambitious. So I decided to turn on the good ol’ tv to see what was on. I watched an hour of Teen Mom on MTV and I came back ready to work. It’s okay to feel lazy at times. It happens to all of us.
Embrace creative moments.
If your creative juices start flowing at 2 in the morning and you feel super motivated, then go with it. Take advantage of momentum when it’s on your side. You never know when that next great idea or sudden boost of energy will hit.
Deal with minor things immediately.
Just because you’re not working on something actively it doesn’t mean that it’s not taking up mental energy. That bill that you need to pay or that email that needs a response should be dealt with as they come. Don’t let a bunch of these minor issues linger on your mind. I read a theory once that stated you should deal with two minute tasks as they come along. By delaying a bunch of these small tasks, you create unwanted work down the road. Now I try to deal with minor issues as they come along, as opposed to putting them off until later.
Do one really important task.
If there was one task that you completed today that would make your day a success what would it be? Once you figure this out for the day, do that thing first. If there’s a major project on your mind then write it down. Then determine what the next step is. This will alleviate much of the stress that comes with lingering projects. The best strategy is to always take the next small step. This keeps you focused on your main goals in life.
Those are my most recent thoughts on time management. Is there anything you guys would like to share on the topic? I’m always looking for new ways to improve my time management skills. What has worked for you?
Be sure to check out Mike’s time management tips  from almost a year ago.
(photo credit: photo extremist )