We are all trying to save time and work on our time management. There are several ways to go about doing this. Learning to eliminate tasks, do tasks more efficiently, eliminate wasted time, and cut down procrastination. One of the most important factors to achieving all of these is to get yourself and your schedule and tasks organized.
Your First task
Before starting any of the work that you plan to do for that day, you should always consider your your main goal. This will allow you to decide what the most important tasks are and what you need to accomplish for that day. If you don’t do this, it is very easy to get caught up doing small tasks that don’t move you any closer to your goals or finishing your job. I recommend writing down your goals and then listing all the tasks you need to achieve them. Once you have it written down, you can look at it each morning to make sure you are headed in the write direction.
Once you are sure you know your goals, write down the things you need to accomplish for the day. You don’t have to write them in any particular order, just make sure you write them all down. Writing them down will make sure you don’t forget and also relieve a lot of stress.
Once you have your tasks written down, the next step is to put them in order. It is quite likely that you have more tasks than you can complete each day. Most people will generally tend to focus on the easiest tasks first so they can get them out of the way. Unfortunately, these tasks are also the ones that don’t make any results. In order to increase your results and decrease your time, you should work on the items that will make the most difference in your results. These items should go at the top of your list and should never be pushed out of the way by something lower.
If you aren’t exactly sure what the most important task is, there are a few ways to find out. If it is work related, the best thing is to ask you manager. Doing so is helpful in a couple ways. One, you can find out the most important tasks for you to be working on. Second, you know what you manager expects of you. If it’s not work related or your manager doesn’t really know what’s important, then just go through each process or task and ask your self the following questions:
What will happen to the bottom line if I don’t complete this task? If the answer is nothing, then the task should go towards the bottom of the list. If it results in a loss of results then it will go towards the top.
If I could only do one thing each day, what should I spend my time doing? There is a good chance that one particular task will get you most of the results. find out what it is and put it at the top of your list. Then ask yourself, what you would do if you could only do two tasks each day, and so on.
Spend time to save time
One important aspect of time management is to constantly finding ways to do things quicker and more efficient. Doing so requires that we spend time to learn new methods, use new products, or new setups. The key to saving time is to look at each item in the long run. It may take you 30 minutes to put all of you biggest clients into a computer speed dial or an hour to rearrange your pantry to find everything easier, but if it saves you 5 minutes each day, the savings are well worth it.
Look at the tasks that you are doing. What can be automated? What can be made simpler? What can be eliminated? Most times people don’t set up a better system or rearrange for efficiency because it will break their concentration on their current task. So it never gets done. Instead of stopping what you are doing to create the system, write it down on your tasks to do for tomorrow or the next day. This will help to make sure that you are always working as efficient as possible.
Completing the circle
There is one final task that will help you stay on track and also help you sleep better if you are stressed out each day. At the end of each day, write down the tasks that you didn’t complete and create a new task list for the next day. Writing down the things you need to complete keeps you from forgetting about them and makes sure you can organize and get started faster the next day. Not having to worry about forgetting anything also relieves a lot of stress.
About Nick Lancaster
Nick Lancaster has a BS from CSUS and Waseda Univerity in Tokyo, Japan. He has worked in sales for over 10 years in the scuba and education industries in the US and Japan. His main interests include finance, time management, business management, personal development, and using them all to make your life happier. He currently works on his own as an entrepreneur/blogger.