You know that getting your life under control will reduce the stress you endure every day. If youre willing to make some adjustments, things can change. Youll have to practice better self-management.
Improving self-management involves a process. Its not complicated, but its not going to happen overnight. It requires you to stop digging yourself into a hole and figuring out a better way to get things done.
- Purge and organize everything around you. If you dont love it, need it, or use it, get rid of it from your clothes closet to your mind to your computer. Give everything thats left a home, putting like items together.
- Set goals. Youve talked a lot about what you need to do. Youve claimed that youve tried and tried to do this or that. Take try out of your vocabulary and take the steps to do what you need to do. Once you set goals for yourself, youll be very clear on what you should spend your time doing. Youll turn off the TV, and start spending your time on things that will help you go to the next level.
- Make lists. Now that youve gotten organized and can think, and youve set goals so you know what you should spend your time doing, write down everything you need and want to do (at work, then at home). I mean everything. Now look at the list and batch similar or related work together. If its something you can do quickly, say two minutes or less, go ahead.
Now look at the list and pick out the most important project or goal you need to finish or meet. Since any one of these will require more thought and time to get it done, youll need to plan how youll do it. Spending time upfront to plan will save you time later.
- a. Name the project. Determine what the objective or outcome is.
- b. Write down every thing, big or small, that you or someone else needs to do to make it happen.
- c. Prioritize everything that needs to be done, adding timelines.
- d. Schedule each task on your calendar to work on it, starting from the deadline and working backwards. Add time for contingencies such as interruptions and unexpected crises.
- e. Get everything you need for the project, including all the resources youll need to pull it off.
- f. Set up systems that will help you remember each step and due date. Get everything out of your head and use a to do list, tickler file, planner, PDA, checklist, computer reminder, or whatever, to help you remember.
- g. Do the work as planned.
- h. Now repeat this process for all your other projects.
- Sign up for computer classes. Become an expert in software you use every day because youll finish the work six times quicker and go home earlier.
Peggy Duncan is a personal productivity expert and popular workshop leader. Her training topics for busy professionals cover organization, time management, and technology. Visit her at www.PeggyDuncan.com.