Sunday, June 19, 2011

Be more productive - How To Get Your Life in Order

Be more productive

Most people struggle to be as effective and efficient as we'd liketo be. It's why we always hear people asking for more hours in a

day. Around the world, "I need more time!" is probably uttered millions of times each day.

Here are three time management secrets to help you get more done.

1) Plan your week - When do you plan? Some people do it first thing in the morning; they make a list of the things they need to
get done for the day. A better strategy is to spend some time during the weekend (or Monday morning) planning the upcoming week.

You can then assess your goals, the steps you need to accomplish them and plan your week according to the urgent and not so urgent
projects and tasks.

2) Let go of perfection - We often spend way too much time on tasks that really don't matter that much. Perfection rarely exists and
trying to perform less important tasks perfectly wastes your valuable time. Find a "good enough" balance and save your focused
attention and quest for perfection for those tasks that really matter.

3) Avoid efficiency traps - Efficient and productive are not synonymous - they're two very different words. You can be efficient
and busy and not really get anything done. The secret to time management is to focus on tasks that result in accomplishing
something that matters - your goals. Running errands, cleaning your desk, filing and so forth are busy tasks that make you feel busy
and efficient but they're not enhancing your productivity. You're not achieving your goals. Time management secrets are easy to embrace when you're excited
about your goals and you have a step by step process to achieve
them.

How To Get Your Life in Order
Achieve your goals by breaking them down into bite-sized pieces, and use digital shortcuts to track your steps towards success.

To complete this How-To you will need:

A PDA
A cell phone
An email account
A desire to organize your life

Step 1: Pick a goal

You talk about competing in a triathlon, writing a novel, and getting a better job, but what are you actually doing about it? Pick your goal and stick to it.

Tip: Writing down your goal and your proposed completion date in your PDA — instead of on paper — makes it easier to access, revise, and share with friends.

Step 2: Identify the smaller tasks

Identify the smaller tasks you'll need to complete. A single large goal becomes much more manageable when you turn it into a lot of smaller goals.

Step 3: Be realistic

Whatever your goal is, be realistic about your plan, as well as the amount of time you've given yourself to complete it. We know you want to see results right now, but overloading your plate will just make you anxious.

Step 4: Prioritize

Prioritize your tasks. Rank each one based on its urgency and the order in which it should be accomplished. As you complete tasks, re-assign the rankings.

Step 5: Schedule your tasks

Schedule tasks in your PDA. Assign times, dates, and priority to as many tasks as you can. Set reminders in advance, so you have plenty of warning.

Step 6: Streamline

Streamline the other stuff on your to-do list so you have more time to focus on your goal. For recurring items like monthly bills, sign up online for automatic payment. Use mobile banking to save trips to your local teller. And for other repeating appointments or errands, set chiming reminders on your PDA.

Step 7: Continue your education

Don't be afraid to seek help. Continue your education with an online class, and do readings and homework at your convenience.

Tip: Some classes have videos you can download to your PDA or MP3 player and watch whenever you're free.

Step 8: Let people know

Send an email telling your friends and family about your goal. Getting the word out not only locks you into seeing things through; it can open up your options.

Tip: When sending out a mass email, Bcc all email addresses.

Step 9: Reward yourself

Each time you accomplish a task, give yourself a break and a reward. Showering yourself with little presents — and some free time to enjoy them — is a great way to toast your success!


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