So what are you doing today?
Do you have a big project you have to tackle like cleaning the garage or organizing the attic? Have you started on that huge paper that must be completed and turned in soon?
No matter what the day calls for-one big task or several small ones-organization is key to leading a productive day.
I’ve learned that organization has two major parts: Time Management and Discipline. These two principles go hand in hand when you’re setting out to do something worthwhile, and we will find how to achieve great time management and discipline skills.
Examine yourself. Stop for a second amidst your busy and hectic day and turn your focus inwardly. Ask yourself questions like: What is it that I want to accomplish? By when do I want to have the task (or tasks) done? Will I need help, or can I do this alone?
The answers to these questions are very important in trying to manage time, because they are the first step in understanding what you are capable of doing and what it is you really want to do.
Divide and Conquer! You know better than anyone else what your schedule entails and how long it takes you to do things.
Figure out what it is you need to do to achieve your goals.
Make a list of things you want to do from most important to least important and allot a certain amount of time for each of them.
If you would like to have the house clean in one-and-a-half hours, give yourself 20 minutes for the bathroom, 20 minutes for the office and the living room, 20 minutes for the kitchen, 15 minutes for two of the bedrooms, 20 minutes for the master bedroom, and 25 minutes for any other part of the house that’s left (or to rest from all of that cleaning you’ve just done!).
It’s as simple as that.
Start small. There’s nothing worse than feeling like you have a terrible load on your shoulders and not nearly enough time in the world to start tackling it. I believe this happens when we don’t take the time to ration out the time that we do have accordingly.
Just like the example given above about cleaning the house, assign small increments of time to certain smaller tasks. Here’s another example:
You want to clean the closet in X amount of time and have no clue where to start. Give yourself 10 minutes to empty the closet and a few minutes to decide what needs to be trashed and what needs to be kept.
After that, decide where your shoes need to be place, what clothes go where, and so on, with each task given about 10-15 minutes or so.
You see, the key to good time management is not dependent on what you consider a “sufficient” amount of time-it all depends on how you use the time you have. We all have the same 24 hours in a day; the trick to fully utilizing that time is how we choose to fill it and how effective we are in that time.
Go do it. Now that you’ve laid out your plan, all that’s left is to go and do what it is you want to do. This will take discipline, because distractions and the desire to procrastinate will soon begin to try and still your focus.
We will discuss how to avoid distractions and procrastination more in the next article, but for now, worry about dividing up your time wisely and getting to it!