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How do you manage your time to be more effective?

Build Good Habits

We have habits that fit our style. Some are good, while others are not so good. How do you change and adapt to be more effective with your time?

First thing every morning,  it has become an embedded routine to review the long lists of tasks while creating a new to do list.  It takes discipline to prioritize the most important task first.  Procrastinating is easy so do not fall into that trap!  Complete task one and then move onto task two and so forth down the list.  This is difficult because everything new becomes an instant priority.

Sometimes this will be true and you will have to adjust the priorities.  This is a challenge and gets better with practice.  One of the keys to managing your time is to schedule your priorities and not to prioritize what is in your schedule.

The Three D’s

Using the three D’s every time information is received has become an excellent way to manage your time.  For example, when looking in your Inbox, each e-mail is opened and you decide on one of three things: Delete, Do or Delegate.

Information can be read, heard in person, on the phone, on paper, on podcasts, webinars, video chat and of course e-mail to name a few.   The “Delete” can be to absorb this information and not keep it in any form or file it electronically or in a folder as the case may.  The “Do” is simply that:  complete the task now.  Then scratch it off your list!  The “Delegate” is to forward the task to another person with clear direction and expectation of when to have it completed by.

Forget The Excuses

We hear reasons why things were not completed or why they cannot be done.  We tell stories how we do not have enough time.   Take a look at your habits.  What is preventing you from getting things done?  What is distracting you?   What is holding you back?   What excuses are you telling yourself and others?

There is a saying that goes something like this:  “Give it to a busy person and they will get it done.”   Why is that?  I feel if I have a leisure day with not much planned (rare occasion), I find myself not as motivated to get things done.   Practically every day, I have the “task list” written down and find I am motivated to start and to keep going to accomplish as many items on the list as possible.   Some days the list gets completed while other days there may be only a couple of items checked off and not from lack of focus or procrastination.

Do Not Do List

Something you can try as an effective tool is creating a Do Not Do List.  This  may seem strange, however, reviewing this list helps to remain focused on the priority tasks.  Things like spending too much time in the kitchen snacking or watching your shows or movies can be on the list.  For those working from home, there are many distractions that can end up on your list to help.  What would you put on your not to do list?

What are your good habits for effectively managing your time?

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