Sunday, 28 April 2013

Discover the Secrets to Managing Your Time

Twenty-four hours. Each one of us has only twenty-four hours each day. Out of that, we need to eat, sleep, take care of our loved ones, have a bit of fun, and earn some money so that we can continue to thrive. Some people manage to glide through their day, accomplishing everything they want to with time to spare. Others spend their time racing from task to task, never quite finishing one thing before being called to start something new.

Each day we make dozens of choices about how to spend our minutes and hours. When we plan how to spend it, we are in control of our time. Without a working plan, we will use up all our time on whatever comes up, regardless of how important it is.

To gain control of your time, you should start by planning your priorities. Set aside a regular time each day for this. Some people prefer the end of their day, others use the first fifteen minutes of their day. Sit down with a pen and paper, and make a list of everything you want to accomplish for the day. Don't worry about putting them in order; just make the list as complete as possible.

Next, look over your list and assign priorities to each task. A- tasks are the most important; B- tasks are the second most important, and so on. Now, look at all of you're a tasks, and rank them in order of importance, with one being the most important. Do the same with your B tasks, C tasks, and so on. Now you have an organized, prioritised plan for your day. You're A-1 task is the most important thing you want to accomplish, and you have a clear map of how to spend your time.

Often the C tasks will be the easiest, and most enjoyable to complete. The natural tendency is to finish the easy things first, and never quite get around to the important tasks that can really move your life and career forward. Using a priority list keeps you on track by helping you to focus on what is really important for you to spend time on throughout the day. When you finish all of you're a tasks, and a few of your B tasks, you day will be much more productive than if you complete all of your C tasks and a few B tasks.

Planning your priorities is only the first step in gaining control of your time. Executing your plan can be a challenge.

In order to follow your plan, you will need to develop a few strategies to deal with all of the inevitable interruptions that will steal your time. Having a pre-determined strategy to deal with unimportant phone calls and constant emails will help you regain control of your time. 

Make a commitment to yourself that you won't answer any unimportant calls until after all of the A tasks are finished. Using caller ID and voice mail make this a simple commitment to keep.
You can set up your email account to automatically sort your email into folders as it arrives. You'll easily be able to find important messages without being distracted by the unbelievable claims that seem to get through even the best spam filters.
You can set aside a specific time each day to sort through the non-urgent email folders. This way they do not steal time away from what is really important to you.

Once you have mastered gaining control of twenty-four hours, you can try managing your priorities by weeks, months, and quarterly segments. You will be amazed at how much more productive you will become, and at how simple it really is to become the master of your time

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