We realize our dilemma goes deeper than shortage of time; it is basically a problem of priorities. We confess, We have left undone those things that ought to have done; and we have done those things which we ought not to have done.
~ Charles E. Hummel ~
We know that the 80/20 rule applies in most life situations. So, let’s look at how that applies to your time. Consider this, if you have a to-do list with twenty items on it, then four of those tasks will be worth more than the other sixteen combined. As Brian Tracy explains, “This means that each of those tasks will be worth at least 5 times more, or will give you a 500 percent return on time invested over doing any of the other tasks on your list, which are of low or no value.”
Today it is more important than ever to make sure that the things we choose to spend our time on are the right things.
Also, understand that the value in any activity is subjective. YOU are the captain of your ship and must follow your own compass. At different times in your life you will need to focus your time and energy in different ways.
Don't be a time manager, be a priority manager. Cut your major goals into bite-sized pieces. Each small priority or requirement on the way to ultimate goal becomes a mini goal in itself.
~ Denis Waitley ~
My Tweeps Share How They Stay on Track
I asked my Tweeps: How do you stay on track with your to dos and get them done? What tools do you use?
JHaynesWriter @StephCalahan I get things done by having a clear mind: I “dump” out every task, bother and then select which to do first. I have to know that everything is collected or I cannot work. I will overstress.
MichelleRMorton Know the difference between a daily to do and master list – I plan on Sun for the week ahead. Then I just review each night for the next day to make sure I am on task – I take my daily to-dos from my master and I schedule my to-do
kmmarketing @StephCalahan I enter important to-dos as calendar items in my iPhone. I set up alerts to remind me that they're coming up. I use my iPhone ‘notes' for to-do lists incl shopping lists. They're always w/ me & it's satisfying to delete completed items.
Control your time. If you're working off your in-box, you're working off the priorities of others.
~ Donald Rumsfeld (American Secretary of Defense) ~
Time Tips from Productivity Pros
I also asked some of my friends what they would recommend.
Use a Time Log to Keep You Focused
Keep a time log. The act of having to write down how you have spent your time will have the immediate result of keeping you focused on what matters most. After all, nobody wants to write down “Wasted 90 minutes in Facebook” instead of writing that client report!
Just Say No
Saying “NO” is really hard for a lot of us – especially women. We're so used to getting it all done . . . usually at the expense of our own sanity. When receiving a request (from your child's school, from your co-worker, from your significant other) ask yourself if this fits with your overall goals, and who you are right now. You may have always done for others, but every bit takes away from that which could make your (or your loved ones) life, your business or your world better.
At the beginning of each month, decide on the top three things that, if they are completed, will move your business forward. Print the words out and tape them to the wall in your office.
Prioritizing Your Priorities
Have a pad of paper handy. Write down things you want to get done on a daily or weekly basis. Don't worry about the order at first. After the list is written, then number each item beginning with 1 (which would be the most important) and number each item by priority. Tackle each one in the order your created. Keep the list going and cross of the items as they are accomplished. Delegate those tasks you do not want to handle to someone else.
Thanks to: Audrey Cupo from Bucks County, PA of A Better Space http://www.4abetterspace.com/
Start the Day with a Clear and Present Mind
Meditate for 5 – 10 minutes first thing in the morning–the discipline will develop your clarity and presence. Your subconscious mind will ensure that not only do you do the Right Things but you do them to the best of your ability. Your success depends on your ability to pay attention…
When you have a long list of items to prioritize, try a paired comparison. Rather than looking at the entire list, break it down to one decision at a time.
1. List Tasks (example)
a- Plan Agenda
b- Billy Bob’s Review
c- Draft budget report
d- Clean out my inbox
2. Compare tasks and put a check mark next to the higher Priority task:
a to b then, a to c and then, a to d
b to c then, b to d
c to d
Using the example above:
Which is more important: “a-Plan Agenda” or “b-Billy Bob’s Review”? B
Which is more important: “a-Plan Agenda” or “c-Draft budget report”? C
Which is more important: “a-Plan Agenda” or “d-Clean out my inbox”? A
Which is more important: “b-Billy Bob’s Review” or “c-Draft budget report”? B
Which is more important: “b-Billy Bob’s Review” or “d-Clean out my inbox”? B
Which is more important: “c-Draft budget report” or “d-Clean out my inbox”? C
3. This will result in a prioritized list of those 4 action items
Using the example above: B, C, A, D
I use toggl.com for everything in my business. It helps me see at a glance what I'm spending most of my time on (which sometimes leads to massive re-prioritization.) It's also given me the tools to go to my clients and say “Hey.. I'm spending way too much/too little time with this task. Shall we regroup?)
I learned that we can do anything, but we can’t do everything.. at least not at the same time. So think of your priorities not in terms of what activities you do, but when you do them. Timing is everything.
~ Dan Millman ~
Comment and Share
What do you think? Do you agree or disagree? How has this post impacted you? What are you doing to manage the things you need to get done? Comment with abandon! Let's have a discussion. Just comment in the comment section below.
To your success!
PS – If you are looking to read some more on this topic, consider getting one of these books.
Brian Tracy – Doubling Your Productivity – How to Manage Your Time & Organize Your Life – Motivational DVD Training Video http://bit.ly/BrianTracyDYP
Time Power: A Proven System for Getting More Done in Less Time Than You Ever Thought Possible http://bit.ly/BrianTracyTimePower
Making Time Work For You http://bit.ly/HTaylorMTW
The Effective Executive (Classic Drucker Collection) http://bit.ly/DruckerEffExec
First Things First http://bit.ly/CoveyFTF
The Daily Drucker: 366 Days of Insight and Motivation for Getting the Right Things Done http://bit.ly/DailyDrucker
Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity http://bit.ly/DavidAllenGTD
Focal Point: A Proven System to Simplify Your Life, Double Your Productivity, and Achieve All Your Goals http://bit.ly/BrianTracyFP
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People http://bit.ly/Covey7Habits
Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Timehttp://bit.ly/BrianTracyETF
Start Where You Are: Life Lessons in Getting from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be http://bit.ly/ChrisGardnerSWYA
Disclosure: Some of the links on this page are affiliate links. That means that I may get a small thank you commission (at no additional cost to you) if you choose to purchase a product from the company mentioned. I only refer you to programs that are ran by people I personally know or I have participated in, but please use your judgement to decide if this is right for you. If you would prefer that I not get that, feel free to Google the company and purchase directly.