Time Management Ninja is a site that I love. I’m hoping to get some of the writing of Craig, the owner, on Liberal America. I just found this little gem over there: 10 Tiny Time Management Tips. This article intrigued me because some of these are things that I actually do, so it sort of validated some of my own methods!
Craig works this from the premise of people complaining that they dn’t have time to deal with time management. His site is a treasure trove of good information about how to avoid getting into the “next big thing” trap when it comes to organization and time management. These “tiny tips” are a good place for anyone to start. My responses in orange.
1. Plan Your Day – Spend 10 minutes planning your day each morning. (Set a timer if you must…) These few minutes can save you hours of misfortune and wasted effort. They can prevent missed opportunities, last-minute scrambles, and life stress.
I fail here a lot, actually. A lot of it has to do with the fact that I work from home, I think. When I worked in the Real World (which really wasn’t at all real now that I think about it), I was much more precise with my daily planning. I’m a Franklin Covey devotee.
2. Make Your TODAY List – Each day, take your todo list and highlight the “Top 5 Tasks” that you must get done today. This is your TODAY List. You will get these tasks done first and no matter what life throws at you today.
In Franklin Covey, we label things with A, B, and C. Those are the levels of importance. So same concept, I think. Do I do it? Let’s say I start every day that way….I need to take that last line and apply it. “Get it done no matter what life throws at you today.”
3. Get up 30 Minutes Early – You can be an early bird. Getting up 30 minutes earlier will let you be ahead of the day. Whether that means getting a task done early, getting out the door on time, or even beating the morning commute.
I swear by this. Again, because I work from home, I’m not as driven to do this. I have all day after the kids leave. But when I worked in the Real World, I swore by that silent early hour that I gained for myself to work or plan my day. It was my only quiet time. And no, I don’t know how I ever did it.
4. Be Early to Appointments – When it comes to meetings and appointments, “10 Minutes Early is on Time.” Leave for your appointments with enough time to be comfortably early. You will avoid being the “always late” one, and in the few minutes ahead of the meeting you can relax or get caught up.
I’m late for everything. I’ll work on it!
5. Have a Notebook – This is the tool most often missing from people’s time management system. Whether on paper or on your phone via something like Evernote, have a place to capture important information and notes. Avoid using Post-Its and the random scraps of paper.
Yes! I have one. If I don’t have a notebook on my desk, the scraps and post-its overtake me. In Franklin Covey, we have a blank page on the right of our daily planner. Sometimes I use that, but more often, I transfer important stuff to that page at the end of the day.
6. Rule Your Phone – Stop letting your phone rule your life. It is there for your convenience, not that of others. Answer it only when it is convenient. Check it only when you need something. Turn off the chimes and notifications.
Done! Everyone who knows me knows that I own the phone, not vice versa. I answer it when I want.
7. Stay Out of Your Inbox – Email is not your job. Stay out of your inbox except for a few designated times each day. Instead, concentrate on your priorities, and your email will still be there when you check back.
Guilty, but doing better. I think I check my email at least once every 5 minutes. All 10 or so accounts. On my phone. Ugh.
8. Clean Your Desk – Take 5 minutes and clean up even a few things on your desk. A clean workspace not only lets you get more done, but it reduces stress. Don’t wait until cleaning your workspace becomes an all day affair, do it in small increments every day.
I do pretty good at this usually. Former coworkers said that I left every day and it looked like I was never coming back. Ha.
9. Take a Break – To be more productive, you actually have to rest every once in a while. A five-minute break can reset your mind and rejuvenate your energy level. Go outside, walk around the building, or just take a few deep breaths of peace.
I swear by a modified Pomodoro Method. More on that later.
10. Don’t Waste Time Complaining – When you catch yourself complaining or being negative… STOP. Instead of wasting your breath and time, do something productive with that time.
Y’all go visit his great site!
Image via Pixabay