Want some time management hints you can cash in immediately? Ok. I’ll share a few with you. Here’s the first. Stop planning for a day.
Many time management guides teach you how to plan out your day. And surely you know of some amazing folks who plan for a day in great detail. Personally, I’ve never been able to. Part of the reason is that my professional schedule is unpredictable. Without the luxury of a fixed and regulated lifestyle, daily planning is bound to become a frustrating and inefficient waste.
That’s why one of the most practical time management hints is to keep a longer range in mind while making plans.
Most of us do not like being tied down to too rigid a structure – even if following such a strict time-table will be beneficial. This is a mind-set many entrepreneurs share. That’s the reason why we look for time management hints to help us enjoy our desired lifestyle without losing track of our goals or getting distracted off our course.
So, how can you manage and plan your time?
It still helps to chalk out broad plans for things that you would like to get done each day. But more important are the mini-goals that you break down your big ones into. If writing a book is your big goal, your smaller milestones will be outlining the chapters, conducting the research, and writing individual chapters (or even smaller sections) of it.
Those mini-goals are then prioritized, so the most important ones get done first, followed by the less important ones.
A fringe benefit of having an irregular, uncertain schedule is that there is an in-built sense of urgency. If you have a goal to reach – but am not sure when you might be disturbed – it serves as an agent of focus, and will help you concentrate all your attention on the task at hand, until it gets done.
But remember that it’s not all about projects and work, no… these time management hints involve family and social life too. ‘Do it today’ is a watchword that helps a lot in maximizing your here and now.
Want more? Fine. Here’s another hint that’ll save you time and improve your efficiency.
Build flexibility into your to-do list. Divide your working day into sections. This allows you to take steps towards achieving your goals, and gives you room for unexpected opportunities that require quick action.
If your master plan requires you to take action in four areas, break your day into four sections. In each section, list individual task(s) you need to complete. Take one step in each section toward your goals.
In case something comes up that needs immediate attention, you can reschedule your other planned tasks to take advantage of the new opportunity. You’ll still have your section completed for that day. Simple – but very effective.
All these time management hints are based on the Time Management Tao principles which depend upon learning how to
- Find your center – know WHAT to do
- Understand your order – know HOW to do it
- Pick your timing – know WHO to use & WHEN
There are many more time management hints scattered around this website. Take a look around and you’ll pick up many nuggets. You can also sign up (see below) to the free “Time Taozine” where you’ll receive simple but effective ideas to manage your time wisely and well.