Setting new goals and making new resolutions isn’t enough. To make sure that you can achieve everything you have decided to, you have to be good at managing time. Efficient time management can lead to achieving your goals and completing tasks in time.
1. Fire up a word-processor or a spreadsheet program to write a list all the tasks you have to do. You can even do it on a sheet of paper. Use of a computer is recommended to save the rewriting time. Don’t worry about the priority of each task while making this list. Just get the list ready.
2. Once you are finished with listing all the tasks, scan it from top to bottom. Is there any task that can further be broken down in smaller sub-tasks? If yes, then break these further into smaller ones and list them below the main task.
3. Prioritize each main task by marking numerals like I, II, III, IV and so on in front of each task. If you have broken down some main tasks into sub-tasks, mark them with a, b, c, d and so on.
4. Rearrange the tasks according to their priority. This is optional for time management. You can continue using your marked priority list as it is.
5. Estimate the time you would require for completing each task. Indicate this time against each. You don’t have to be accurate but be realistic in general while writing down the required time. Keep in mind so as not to exceed the total time you plan to work in a day, after all you have limited hours for time management.
6. If you find that some tasks don’t fit in your stipulated working time for the day, mark them with an * or any other symbol to indicate that they will be tackled the next day.
7. There’s no fun in doing things if you aren’t going to take a break to reward yourself on working on your tasks. These small breaks not only ensure that you stay focused but are also necessary to help you relax.
8. Make sure that you return to work on your tasks each time you take a break. Keep in mind as an incentive that the sooner you finish all your tasks for the day, the more free time you will get at the end of your list.
9. Accommodate any urgent, last minute tasks after the one you are currently working on. Don’t let yourself get distracted in between and loose the rhythm.
10. At the end of the day move all unfinished tasks to the top of a new page or sheet for the next day. Take a few minutes to think what all you have to accomplish the next day and add those tasks to the list.
* If you get stuck on a task or it requires the intervention of others for completion, don’t wait and waste time. Instead mark the task as unfinished and move on to the next one on the list. Return to review the unfinished task later on or move it to the next day’s list.
You can use these points for time management at work, home, business or just about anywhere.
Remember to always plan Today for an efficient Tomorrow.