Surprising Time Management Secrets

As parents, our time is limited. Between shuttling the kids from school to sports practice to play rehearsal and back home, our time is precious. And let’s not forget about the hours we spend away from our families working. But everyone has the same 24 hour day to complete their tasks. Some of us are better at time management while others need a little help.

There are some time management secrets that will make you feel like you have more hours in your day. Ready?

Surprising Time Management Secrets
Set Priorities. There are really only four choices:

  1. Most important
  2. Most urgent
  3. Least important
  4. Least urgent

When you identify tasks and set your priorities carefully by what is important, as well as avoid having issues of urgency each day, you can get a handle on your time in ways that you never thought possible.

Learn the Power of No. Saying no is probably one of the most important, and hardest, things you’ll ever learn to say. If something is not right for you, is too “urgent”, causes you stress, or you just do not want to do it and it doesn’t fit in with meeting your goals, say no. Saying no will free up untold amounts of time to focus on your priorities.

Disconnect from Technology. Unplug the phone, turn off email notifications, and for goodness sake get off Facebook (unless you are coming to check out our ideas!). If you’ve not completed the most important tasks on your daily list, you have no business messing around with technology. The idea of multitasking is overrated, so unplug and tune in to the tasks at hand. You’ll work faster, smarter, and gain the time you need for other things.

Schedule Everything. Your priorities need to be added to your calendar. Everything from the 15 minutes you need to use social media for marketing purposes, to the one hour you need to take your kids to the park. Everything needs to be put into your calendar. Some people even have to put taking a shower on their list! If you have a project due in a week, you should have five days of scheduled time to work on the project prior to the due date. This helps avoid those urgencies mentioned earlier.

Ignore Interruptions. Check your email at scheduled times during the day, explain to your children, spouse and family when you are working, and otherwise ignore the door bell ringing. If you didn’t schedule it, you don’t need it. This is where unplugging comes into play!

Once and You’re Done. Multitasking is not really a bastion of efficiency. Instead, seek to touch each task only once and finish it. For example, when you check the mail immediately throw out the trash, schedule bills to be paid, and deal with any issues that came up with a letter – right then. Of course, your mail time should be scheduled as well so that you can stay on track.

Check Your Schedule. At least twice a day, set out the time to check your schedule. Usually the morning is good while drinking your cup of coffee and at the end of the day is good. Ensure that you have your priorities in order, add anything new to your schedule that needs to be added, and remind yourself of what is expected the next day. Checking your schedule helps you feel accomplished at the end of the day, and reminds you of what’s coming up tomorrow.

Finally, it’s important to be very serious about following your schedule and calendar. Use technology to help such as Google Calendar or Outlook, synced to your smartphone to help you remember what it is that you should be doing now, and next. Go old school with a paper planner. Or use a combination of both. It may seem geeky to be so serious about a schedule, but it’s this one factor that makes these surprising time management tips work.

Members to ListPlanIt will find the lists they need to organize your time in Time Management.  Not yet a member?  Join today and get organized for planning the new year.  And make the most of 2016 with the 100 Days of a New Year 2016 eBook.  Available now!

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