Excessive voltage blocks your performance, leading you to rapid overheating and apathy. So, in order not to become a victim of stress or, worse, to chronic fatigue syndrome, you need to manage your time well.
The rhythm in which most people live in can hardly be determined to be calm and balanced. Shortage of time and stress are trials that not everyone can handle.
Do you ever feel that you’re in a situation where you do not know what to engage in because you feel overwhelmed by obligations?
I’m certain that you do. So, how do successful people know what to do and how to do it?
All successful people are extremely productive. They work efficiently and achieve a lot, and this is certainly not the same thing.
Productivity is primarily the result, not the process. If you are planning to improve your performance, you must first decide to do this. People spend time in vain, largely because they have not made decisions to improve their productivity.
And if you decide to do it, don’t step back, keep repeating what all successful people do until it becomes your second nature. The main secret of personal effectiveness is to have the right time distribution. Time management helps to avoid the unenviable prospect of becoming a hostage to your own business, career, or obligations.
First and foremost: Planning saves time.
Those who have achieved success in their lives devote much time to planning. Daily planning is a must for increasing productivity and effective time management.
In his book, “Eat that Frog – 21 Great ways to stop procrastinating and Get more done in less time,” Brian Tracy writes about the The 6-P rule, which reads:
“Prior Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance”
The rule says, always think and plan on paper. If your target is not on paper, it does not exist. Task enumeration is a map that will keep you from losing the path to your goal.
The 6-P rule is very simple.
1. Determine the “goals” – What do I want to do?
2. Write the goals down – Take a pen and paper and begin writing.
3. Have deadlines – Remember that a goal is a dream with a deadline. If there is no target date, it is difficult to track performance and ensure that the task will be accomplished.
4. Prepare a list of all tasks, which are required to be performed to ensure that the goal will be achieved.
5. Act on the plan immediately and keep moving forward – set rewards for yourself once the task is accomplished.
One of the tools Brian Tracy provides is his book is categorization of “ABCDE” of the work one needs to do on daily basis.
A category task – A task that is very important. It’s something you must do. There are serious consequences to this task.
B category task – A task that has mild consequences. This task should never be done, while there are is still task left from the “A” category.
C category task – A task that would be nice to do. If the task isn’t accomplished, there are no consequences. The task has no effect on your life.
D category task – A task that can be delegated to someone else.
E category task – A task that can be removed. This task does not pose any serious effects.
“People who are in a dark room quickly lose a sense of time. But even in absolute darkness, people retain the feeling of space. Finding yourself in a lighted but closed place, you will stop feeling time passing in a few hours. And if you want to calculate how long you will be in such a room, you will severely error in your calculations. Therefore, if we rely on our memory, we do not notice how we use our time… ”
Running a “scheduled day” on daily basis will increase your productivity. So prepare your day’s tasks the night before. Going to work, you will always know how to start your day. Continue working on your list throughout the day – when you have new appointments, write them down, taking into account their priority over previously planned tasks. When you perform one of your tasks – you must delete it. This will give you a sense of satisfaction with your work, enthusiasm and energy.
Planning moves from the big to the small, from the long-term to the short-term, from the goals of your life, to your duties of every day living.
Set precise deadlines for each task.
Break each complicated task to a few small subtasks. For this purpose, the tree of decisions, where the key task is the tree, will help you, and the substructure for its implementation is the branches. Continue with the branching until the process of performing all tasks becomes simple and transparent.
Before you do something, remember a simple rule – the 10/90:
10% of the time spent planning will save you 90% of the time when you are making decisions.
The most important thing is to define your main priorities.
The purpose of time management is to determine what your primary duty is. Prioritization will allow you to effectively manage the list of committed tasks, and assigning to each task a certain level of significance.
Once you determine which tasks are important, evaluate the consequences, if you are performing them or if you do not. It is clear that there will be serious consequences, if an important task is not accomplished within the set deadline.
Use the above mentioned method by prioritizing the “ABCDE.” This is a very simple way of planning, and it consists of adding to each task in your list of tasks the priority of its execution.
Use an enforced effectiveness act analogy.
The main secret of time management is concentration and purposefulness. Start with the solution as the most important task and accomplish everything in a consistent manner, in the specified period of time. If you put aside an important task and then go back to it, then you will reduce your performance drastically.
It is known that Mozart could work on three compositions at once and create real masterpieces. But this is more an exception than a rule. Bach, Haydn, and Verdi could only work on one piece in a specific period of time. They did not start working on the next composition, if they did not finish the present.
Remember that there’s always time for everything when you prioritize.
You can divide tasks in 4 groups:
1. Urgent, important
2. Important, not urgent
3. Urgent, not important
4. Not urgent, not important
This classification is called the Eisenhower Matrix (window, principle).
Primary tasks are tasks that are urgent and important. An attempt to postpone it later will cause you unnecessary problems. You need to become involved with them immediately.
After these come the tasks that are important but not urgent. You can postpone similar tasks for later, but they can have a strong impact on your long-term perspective.
Cases that are not urgent, but important, have the habit of becoming urgent and important if you permanently postpone them. For this to happen, it is a good idea to take time to implement them beforehand.
Urgent but not important tasks will poorly affect your success. Working with urgent but unimportant tasks will not work and can greatly affect your performance. Such tasks take much of your time. These are precisely those tasks that are good to be delegated to someone else.
It is logical to assume that tasks that are not urgent are not important and do not matter in principle, and do not bring any success if you do not accomplish them. You can remove them from your list.
So you might be still wondering, what it means to “eat the frog?”
An old legend says that the first thing you have to do every morning is to eat a frog with the comfort that this is the worst thing that can happen during your day.
In his book Brian Tracy compares the frog with the most unpleasant and most important obligation you have to do today. By postponing it, you create too much emotional tension and undesirable consequences. You have to act without hesitation.
Just go and do something. This will keep you busy for the day.
The word “no” saves unexpectedly a lot of time.
The most important word in organizing your own time is the polite “no”. Learn to reject and say no to tasks that are not among the priorities you have chosen. Be tactical and refuse to understand that you reject it not personally, but its task.
Take care of how you spend your work and your leisure time. Mark what activities engulf your time. For example, discussing news with colleagues, aimlessly switching TV channels or reading leaflets and newspapers.
Make a rating of mindless activities, you can call it “I will never do this anymore,” and write in it those things that do not bring you any benefit and do not bring you closer to your goal.
3 questions about your performance
Always ask yourself what long-term consequences one or another task has and what will happen if you do not do it at all. In the course of the day, ask yourself the following three questions:
1. What are the most important and most valuable things?
2. Which one thing can greatly improve the situation, can I do it alone?
3. How do I use my time in the most effective way?
Answers to these questions will allow you to double your productivity.
People who achieve good results work on a well-arranged table. On the table of the unproductive and unorganized people, there is a wild chaos.
Create a habit of arranging your work in time and throwing away unnecessary things. Use the trash can, it will be one of your most effective time management tools in removing what is not necessary.
Use an equilibrium principle to avoid panic.
The simplest way to avoid panic in the face of the ever-increasing volume of work – is to take a deep breath and say, “I can only do one thing at a time” and begin to make a list of things based on priorities. By analyzing the tasks you have to solve, you will always see that you will have enough time to solve the vital questions.
By working out of exhaustion, you cannot deceive your body, it will sooner or later take its own, and if you do not stop, it will do it forcibly. And this is most likely not one of your plans.
Remember that to be effective, it’s not enough just to manage your time. It is important to take care of your health, to maintain yourself in good physical shape. Your life needs to be saturated; you must find time for your family, friends and for rest.
In first place, you must always place yourself and the most important people in your life – this is why it’s so important for you to work on your own daily efficiency.
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About The Author
Dr. Mila is an internationally known Change Catalyst. She teaches individuals and organizations about awareness, connection, and the need for change – personally, socially, and professionally.