Feb 28, 2009

No More Procrastinating - How to Use Your Golden Time

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Procrastination and avoidance - we've all done it. Ignoring that challenging task on our to-do list or waiting until the very end of the day to address the unpleasant items on the list are examples of this.

It's normal to want to avoid the discomfort of a difficult task. These types of things can range from needing to confront a colleague about poor performance, having to plan a presentation or exercising. Whatever the task is, avoiding and procrastinating is not the answer. The key is to find the time of day when you are most alert and focused. For some, like me, this is first thing in the morning between 6 am and 11 am. For others, this may be at night and for others, it will be the afternoon. I refer to this block of time as Golden Time. These are the hours you operate at 100%. Knowing when these hours occur for you can help you become more productive during your work day.

Most people have a reservoir of energy that is reasonably full at the top of their day. They might not be "morning people" but they can function and get things done in the morning. As the day wears on, energy levels fluctuate based on eating, activity, and other factors. Consider doing your most important and most difficult tasks first when you are energized and focused.

Even though I did exceptionally well in accounting while in school, I don't particularly care for it. If I had to, I could prepare financial documents for my businesses and for myself, but I prefer not to so I outsource these functions every chance I get. In one instance, I was creating a business plan and needed to prepare statements that included start up costs, sales projections, and other documents. The very thought of having to crunch numbers made me want to crawl in bed and cover my head with the sheets. I just didn't want to do it. However, I began to see that putting it off until the end of the day made me irritable and ineffective. In addition to not wanting to do the task at the end of the day, I wasn't all that great at it because my number crunching thinking cap generally starts to slip off in the evening.

I started setting my timer and working on my financial documents for one hour during my Golden Time every day until they were done. Not only were they accurate, my emotional and mental experience was a much more pleasant one. I was able to think creatively about the challenges my business may face, and I was much calmer. I got the unpleasant tasks out of the way at the top of the day so that I could coast through the rest of the day taking care of things that were more enjoyable.

I encourage you to consider when you are most efficient and alert and plan your day accordingly. Your Golden Time is your daily gift so be sure you're using it to maximize your productivity.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Lisa_Nicole_Bell

Time Management - 6 Signs That You May Have Hurry Sickness

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Our society has become a place where it takes all the running you can do to stay in the same place. Unfortunately all of our efforts have produced what we are after. We as a society are rich in goods but very poor in time. We are suffering form something called hurried sickness. Not being hurried does not mean not being busy. There are six distinct signs that you may be suffering from hurried sickness.

When you find that you are always trying to speed up your daily activities, this is a sign you could have hurry sickness. You find that no matter what line you may be in it is never fast enough and neither is anything else.

Multi-tasking is another sign of a hurried sick person. No matter how rushed they are that are never satisfied. So they find themselves doing more that one thing at a time pay no particular attention to any of the tasks of those they are involved in at the time. Driving and watching TV are two or the most popular times people tend to do lots of things while engaging in.

Clutter seems to be near the top of the list. Hurried sick people lack simplicity. They carry the biggest organizer, have the most books, buy time saving devices but don't have time to read the instructions and use them and have the fullest closets since they can not get rid of anything. Life is cluttered when we are weighed down by all the things we have failed to say "no" to.

Sunset fatigue in the hurried sick does not allow them to love. This is when you come home at the end of the day and the ones who love you and need you the most, get what is left over. This is when we too tired or preoccupied to spend quality time with the ones we have made the deepest promises too. This is when indulging in alcohol, too much TV and finding yourself rushing when there is not a need and arguments can erupt as a result.

The inability to love becomes a serious sign of hurry sickness. Love takes time and time is something that the hurried person doesn't have. This leads to the last signal that you may have a serious case of hurry sickness.

Being Superficial! This a curse of our times. Acquiring depth always come slowly. It takes being able to quiet yourself and allow things and knowledge to sink in and you truly understand it. Today we have traded in wisdom for information and insist on wanting microwave maturity.

There is a way to begin curing hurry sickness. You must start by cultivating patience and learn how to slow down. it also means that we must put ourselves in positions where we have to wait. Find time for solitude and allow the world around you to attract the ability to eliminate the hurry from our lives.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Bonnie_Holscher

Time Management Tips - 5 Essentials to Transform Tough Times

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Time management tips can redirect your energy to transform potential crises into life-giving opportunities. Today's tumultuous climate of constant change is an excellent motivator.

Are you willing to explore your power to not only survive, but also thrive in the face of recent losses and challenges? If so, use this easy inventory exercise to supercharge your resourcefulness.

Transitions Inventory

Consider changes that have recently shaken up your world. Then conduct a quick inventory in writing. Viewing a written list helps you scan the big picture, and it activates the problem-solving portion of your brain. It will also help you prioritize and realign your time choices.

  1. Survey the Scene

    Jot down all current changes that come to mind, large and small. Notice which areas of your life they affect.

  2. Identify the Impact

    Note how each change affects your current time choices.

  3. Praise Your Perseverance

    Actively appreciate each and every way you have met challenges so far. Write out each validation. This all-important step counteracts feelings of overwhelm and gets you in touch with your personal arsenal of strengths.

  4. Catch the Conflicts

    Where do you try to squeeze in new activities without letting go of old ones? Where are you pressed for time as a result?

  5. Locate What's Lopsided

    Identify and record where your life is now out of balance. How does this affect your energy throughout the day? How does this diminish your quality of life?

What do you learn? Perhaps you have gained new perspective about unmanageable portions of your day. Viewing conflicting demands might clarify your resolve to simplify your schedule. And this survey can highlight serious drains on your energy battery. At the same time, you may recognize just how much you are accomplishing, and appreciate current sources of support more fully.

Every piece of information you have gathered can be put to work to craft time choices that effectively address your current situation. Now that you have an enhanced awareness of the big picture, you can focus on your individual steps with fresh creativity and confidence.

Now ask yourself: How can you start clarifying your priorities right now to find time for what matters the most to you?

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Paula_Eder

Making a List and Doing It

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One of the best things you can do is make a list every morning and then do everything that's on your list. Methodically going through your list will greatly increase your productivity.

Often times you would think to much about the thing that you have to do, instead of just doing it. Thinking too much is the root cause of procrastination. Often times we spend more effort thinking about something, then doing the actual task itself.

The best thing you can do for your productivity is not think at all. Just wake up every morning, make a list of the most important things you have to do for that day, then do it. If you go through every day like this you will get more things done and be further along on your goals.

Success comes to those who do things consistently everyday, methodically. If you work out every morning you will be fit. If you do the things you need to be doing every day you will be successful.

Get into the habit of just doing the things on your daily to-do list. Just do it, and quit thinking about doing it. Remember to spend at least 30 minutes on the activity. Then you can go and do something else.

Make sure what you are doing is important. If it has to be done by you, then you are better off doing it as soon as you can. Procrastinating not only wastes time but it will leave you feeling sick. The key is just to do the things on your list and forget about thinking about doing it.

Overcoming Procrastination by Changing Your Thinking

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Do you procrastinate? You're not the only one! Everyone procrastinates to some degree. For some people, it's not a big deal. They're good at prioritizing and getting the important stuff done. For others, however, it's stopping them from achieving their goals and dreams. It makes life harder in the long run. If you're in this camp, then overcoming procrastination should be a priority.

But how do you even begin to kick the habit?

Here's a tip: Change your thinking.

Ask yourself: How do you feel about this task you've been putting off? Is it something you feel like you HAVE to do? That's the key: If you feel like you HAVE to do it, you'll resent it. As a rule, humans like freedom, and we dislike things that infringe on our time. For many of us, obligations are so distasteful that we will do everything we can to avoid doing them. That is, until the pain of not doing them starts outweighing the pain of dealing with them.

So instead of thinking "I HAVE to do this," say "I WANT to do this." But that's not enough, of course. You still need to think about why you want to do it in the first place. Will it contribute to your quality of life? Will it bring you closer to achieving your dream? It may also be worth asking if there's a way to make it as fun as possible.

Is this goal truly important? If it doesn't excite you, if it doesn't take you in the direction you want to go, then perhaps you need to consider dropping it from your list altogether.

Overcoming procrastination may be a challenge, but if fill your to-do list with things you're enthusiastic about, it'll be easier.

Effects of Procrastination - How Procrastinating Destroys Your Quality of Life

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Guilt. Fear. Worry. Stress. Self-loathing. Does any of that ring a bell? If you're one of those many people who keep putting things off until the screaming last minute (or beyond), you may be painfully familiar with these emotions. Those are just some of the effects of procrastination.

Procrastination is seductively easy. We like to have fun and enjoy ourselves, preferring to avoid the things that are difficult and tedious. So when you know you have a big project you need to get done, what's the first thing you do? You probably remind yourself of the deadline and think, "I've got plenty of time." Then you go read a book, watch TV, make some tea, go out with friends--basically do anything else BUT work on the project.

After a while you look and realize that the eleventh hour is at hand. The only way to finish the project in time is to work your butt off for several hours! You're frantic as you rush, rush, rush to get it done. Then, one of two things happens: Either you miss the deadline, let people down, and feel like a heel, or you end up doing a poor job that you can't take pride in.

Putting things off has a way of snowballing. Tomorrow becomes next week. Next week becomes next month. Before you know it, the months stretch into years, and you're not any closer to making your dreams come true. You're stuck in a rut and you can't seem to make yourself move forward... all because the demon of procrastination is holding you in its fist.

It makes you look bad to everyone else, too. Consistently arriving late for work, never returning phone calls in a timely manner, never getting anything done on time, never accomplishing your goals--how does that make you look to the people in your life?

For your own sanity and well-being, you need to learn how to beat procrastination. It's the key to taking charge of your life and achieving your dreams.

Feb 25, 2009

Managing Your Time Wisely

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Does this picture resemble you?

Are you constantly juggling between your family life and your business life?

Do you even have a personal life?

What about work/life balance? Do you even know the meaning of that? Could you honestly say that you ritually follow a strict work/life balance?

I have often struggled with these very same thoughts, concepts, and problems myself.

But I want to share with you some of the techniques and principles that I now practice to help me gain more of a work/life balance.

Create A Calendar

The first thing you must do is to create a calendar. It a white board type that hangs on your wall, one in paper form that you keep on your desk, calendar book that you write into, a smart phone or PDA, or a calendar in Google calendar or Microsoft Outlook. Regardless of where you keep it, just keep one.

Start out by putting in the things that you would like to do with your family/life/personal aspects. These are the things that will bring you the most joy, and if your happy, it will help you get through your business part of your life. Write in things like Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner. Or better yet, write Breakfast with the Wife/Husband, Lunch with my Daughter, or Dinner with the Family.

Next, put in your trips to the gyms, theater, mall, window shopping. Add your runs to the supermarket, post office, seminars, webinars, chamber meetings, lead group meetings, etc. Now, set aside hours for heads down work (this means no picking up the phone, no client discussions, nothing to distract you from work/work/work). Disconnect the phone if you have to during these hours.

Finally, enter things like return calls, meeting hours, social networking, etc. By the time you're done, you will have a real sense of what it takes to complete your day. You will be surprise at the amount of overload you are currently carrying.

Prioritization and Surrogate Hours

At this point, you're probably wondering what to do about the overage of other tasks or items. This is where you need to employ what I call "prioritization". You need to prioritize which items you need to do on a daily basis and which items you can do on a less frequent basis. For example, you might decide that you need to call clients back on an every day basis, but you might only have to frequent a website like FaceBook or Linked in on an every other day basis. Or you might be able to set a side a few "surrogate" hours that can be replaced with these types of tasks. For example, I often look for new clients on oDesk, eLance, and Guru. However, I don't set aside three hours per day to do this. Instead, I'll visit oDesk on Monday, eLance on Tuesday, and Guru on Wednesday. During a one hour period set aside for doing this everyday. This is my client lead generation "surrogate" hour.

Source Out As Much As You Can

My next major tip for you is that you MUST learn to "source out as much as you can right now". Especially if you are still working a day-gig. It will be harder to do this once you drop the day-gig and go off on your own. The reason is that psychologically, once you're on your own (and not receiving a weekly or monthly paycheck from an employer), you'll feel that you can't afford to have someone else do for money what you could do yourself, and in turn, you'll end up taking longer to do each step because you'll be doing it for all of your customers. Sometimes we let our emotions and pride get in the way and it hurts us in the long run. For example, I felt that I had to build every website that came through my doors: 1. because I felt that I wanted to hold onto as much of the payment as possible for survival, and 2. because I felt that no one could do it the same way that I would...that was my pride speaking to me.

As soon as I let the emotional side let up a bit, I was able to bring in consultants, monitor the work, spent less time on actual development, and it opened me up to work with more customers, and bring in more work, which in turn leads to hiring more workers, allowing me to bring in more customers, less work, etc. etc. etc. It's an ongoing cycle that starts to grow as soon as you let go of the psychological stuff.

In your case, it might mean that you hire a ghost writer to do blog posts based on your ideas, or you sell products from a full-service center where they fully package and ship for you without you lifting a finger. Or you hire a website design company to build your website (hopefully us...sorry couldn't resist the urge to throw that in there).

Find A Niche Market

The next piece of advice that I offer you is to find a niche market and sell the crap out of it. Here's 2 examples:

1. NewEgg.com - offered nothing but electronics for a very long time. They built their clientele because they offered better products than your average Best Buy, better prices than Amazon.com, and free shipping on just about everything. Once they grew their clientele into the millions, they decided to start selling other products. Now they even sell sneakers and clothing. Soon, they'll be able to compete with the likes of Amazon, but it all started with a niche market.

2. One of my clients sells office supplies and are now trying to build an e-commerce website to compete with the likes of OfficeDepot online, OfficeMax online, and Staples online. They use a drop shipment company that handles the actual product package and delivery. I think the company is called BigBook. One of my client's competitors started out using Big Book too. They built the crappiest website and had only a 10% - 15% of the product line on their site. They catered to a niche market and offered that niche the products from BigBook through their website. They went from nothing to over $100K per month in no time. The guy recently sold the company for a few million dollars and is now starting another company to do the same thing again.


Does it mean that I no longer work until 2am or 3am on some days? No, there are times that heavy deadlines come along which require it, but now I do it if I choose to, not because I have to.

This is probably stuff you've already thought of, but in case you hadn't, I wanted to provide you with some thoughts to help you out. That's what we do for each other...right? Hope it does help.

Effective Time Management For Working Students - Calendar, a Necessity

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At last you are now in college! Only a few more years and the career you have been dreaming to achieve for years is already within your grasp.

However, the path is not easy and wreath with beds of roses. Lack of financial means to pay for your tuition, books and other necessary expenses can be an aspect to make your college student life miserable. Of course, you can get a part time job to and support yourself, but it will be precious time away from your studies.

You need accomplish also other college activities in successfully finishing your course. Notwithstanding old and new friends which will surely invite you to social events.

Well then, you need to hone up your time management skills and draw up a time management calendar. Having a Calendar of your activities will help you get through the difficulty of balancing your time between study and work, extra-curricular and social activities with friends.

More and more State Universities and Community Colleges are aware of the fact that college students have to work in order to survive and finance their college education. Because of this insight, these schools adjust their class schedules to meet every student's needs.

However, administrators and advisors in the office find a hard time of scheduling and managing classes for working college students. This is because there are too many people to schedule and manage and few people to draw up the class schedules.

College working students like you who practice effective time management strategies can be a big help. You can assist university and community colleges administrators in drawing up class schedules that are effective for working students. Professionals at college need your definite schedules so that they can draw up a fair enough class schedules.

You can work out by yourself an efficient time management schedule, which takes into consideration your studies, and part time job schedules. In the end, with an effective time student calendar time management plan, you also save money.

Here is a great method of setting up your calendar of time management schedule:

1. First off, you must have a semester calendar. Universities and other colleges provide students with blank semester calendars. You can obtain one through online or create one according to your own liking.

2. In the semester calendars, enter your class schedules, project due dates, registration dates and other important dates. These important dates may come from your class syllabi and the school timetables provided in their brochures and announcements. Enter each date as you find them into your semester calendar.

Set up your own due dates for each phase of a big project, like term papers and projects. You can also add personal commitments to social and personal events.

Maintaining a semester calendar as your time management method will give you a view of what commitments you need to fulfill. It will help you plan before a given schedule. This way, you will avoid last minute disasters.

3. You can also set up a weekly planner. There are available weekly planners provided by institutions you can obtain them online or get them at the registration office during enrollment. If you want to, you can also buy or create your own.

In the weekly planner, you need to enter your regular class schedule and other obligations on a weekly basis, like work, club or church meetings and assembly. Make it a point that you insert ample time for review and reading before and following each class lecture you attend.

Take note of it in your planner. If you are wondering the enough time to put in for a review, have a general rule to plan two hours of study for each hour a lecture transpired.

Plan your regular time off from work and school. Enter bed and wake up times in your planner. Meanwhile, for projects, exams and other personal commitments, leave off blank slots.

4. Tally out your weekly planner and semester calendar every Friday night or late afternoon. This will enable you to check out the things you have accomplished for that week and adjust on the activities that you still need to do for the following week.

Incorporating these other commitments can be done by placing them in the blank time schedule you have on your weekly planner. Then add new items you are committed in for the incoming week. Enter new things and schedules as new obligations, commitments and engagements come up.

You can have your weekly planner to check out before saying your affirmation to a commitment or engagement. If you find you have a previous entry on the said date and time, then it is best to turn down the invitation early on.

5. Every night create a daily "action list" for the following day. Use your weekly and semester calendar to do this. You can even put in categories to set your priorities straight.

Having a calendar for effective time management will reveal its importance when you reach your goals. The main purpose of maintaining it is that it will help remind you of the key goals you have set forth to achieve.

Eleven Time Management Things to Do Or Not

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Many people misunderstand time management. They think it is a way to get everything they think they need to do to the stage of completion. However, time management is really about doing the right things at the right time for each person. Presented are eleven things to consider when managing time.

  1. Do NOT allow interruptions to spoil your plan and cause you stress.
  2. Do leave some flexibility in your planned day.
  3. If its part of your normal daily routine, you may NOT need to write it down.
  4. Do write it down if it is a new habit you are trying to make or a one-time thing.
  5. Do NOT say yes too much or you will experience overload.
  6. And do NOT say no so often that people overlook giving you the opportunity to get in an important project or on a career enhancing team.
  7. Do agree to think about new projects within a certain time period and then give your response or offer alternative methods for help.
  8. Do NOT over schedule yourself or get bog in the details of every task.
  9. Do consider what you might have to give up in order to add a new task or project.
  10. Do NOT be a slave to technology by letting your cell, PDA, pager, or email control you because it is okay to turn them off or tune them out for a short while.
  11. Do use technology to your advantage for reducing time writing or doing calculations on the computer.

Let these eleven do's and don'ts help guide managing time. Remember, good time management is not getting everything done; it is about doing the right things at the right time.

Feb 24, 2009

Learn Something About Time Management From the American Indians Working Four Hours a Day

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I don't consider myself an expert on the American Indians but I would like to share a thought about their lifestyle. I was listening to an audio book on the American Indians eating habits, when it got me thinking about something the author said. This might not be a topic of interest for most people but I found it fascinating.

While listening to the audio book, the author made a statement about the American Indians I will never forget. He said "American Indians spend about four hours each day working, gathering and preparing food." If you think about it, that's not too bad of a lifestyle.

I would imagine that we have a better selection and larger variety of food to choose from than they had. This of course would be a benefit to living in our society instead of theirs.

American Indians often spent a lot of time outdoors and for some reason, spending time in nature seems to be a good thing. I know a lot of people that would rather be outdoors than indoors, walking, jogging, hiking, camping and even gardening. It almost seems more natural for us to be outdoors than indoors.

Now with the Indians working about four hours each day, this is a little bit different then our standard workday. Most people spend at least 9 to 12 hours each day driving to and from work and actually working. I would imagine our standard workday would actually be easier than that of the American Indian. I can't imagine some of my friends or family members chasing after a Buffalo with a spear.

Does this mean the American Indians had it right, just because they worked four hours each day and spent more time in nature were doing what they truly wanted to. Know I can't truly say that they had it right, but I can say that they seem to do just fine living with nature.

Some of these civilizations lasted for centuries.

Something to think about, on your daily travels to and from work as you desire to be at the beach or hiking in the mountains. The philosophies we often associate with a good life, could actually be better instead of progressively adding unneeded stress and frustration to it.

Ten Time Management Things to Do Or Not

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Many people misunderstand time management. They think it is a way to get everything they think they need to do to the stage of completion. However, time management is really about doing the right things at the right time for each person. Presented are ten things to consider when managing time.

  1. Do NOT allow interruptions to spoil your plan and cause you stress.
  2. Do leave some flexibility in your planned day.
  3. If its part of your normal daily routine, you may NOT need to write it down.
  4. Do write it down if it is a new habit you are trying to make or a one-time thing.
  5. Do NOT say yes too much or you will experience overload.
  6. And do NOT say no so often that people overlook giving you the opportunity to get in an important project or on a career enhancing team.
  7. Do agree to think about new projects within a certain time period and then give your response or offer alternative methods for help.
  8. Do NOT over schedule yourself or get bog in the details of every task.
  9. Do consider what you might have to give up in order to add a new task or project.
  10. Do NOT be a slave to technology by letting your cell, PDA, pager, or email control you because it is okay to turn them off or tune them out for a short while.
  11. Do use technology to your advantage for reducing time writing or doing calculations on the computer.

Let these ten do's and don'ts help guide managing time. Remember, good time management is not getting everything done; it is about doing the right things at the right time.

Time Management Tips - 5 Essentials to Transform Tough Times

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Time management tips can redirect your energy to transform potential crises into life-giving opportunities. Today's tumultuous climate of constant change is an excellent motivator.

Are you willing to explore your power to not only survive, but also thrive in the face of recent losses and challenges? If so, use this easy inventory exercise to supercharge your resourcefulness.

Transitions Inventory

Consider changes that have recently shaken up your world. Then conduct a quick inventory in writing. Viewing a written list helps you scan the big picture, and it activates the problem-solving portion of your brain. It will also help you prioritize and realign your time choices.

  1. Survey the Scene

    Jot down all current changes that come to mind, large and small. Notice which areas of your life they affect.

  2. Identify the Impact

    Note how each change affects your current time choices.

  3. Praise Your Perseverance

    Actively appreciate each and every way you have met challenges so far. Write out each validation. This all-important step counteracts feelings of overwhelm and gets you in touch with your personal arsenal of strengths.

  4. Catch the Conflicts

    Where do you try to squeeze in new activities without letting go of old ones? Where are you pressed for time as a result?

  5. Locate What's Lopsided

    Identify and record where your life is now out of balance. How does this affect your energy throughout the day? How does this diminish your quality of life?

What do you learn? Perhaps you have gained new perspective about unmanageable portions of your day. Viewing conflicting demands might clarify your resolve to simplify your schedule. And this survey can highlight serious drains on your energy battery. At the same time, you may recognize just how much you are accomplishing, and appreciate current sources of support more fully.

Every piece of information you have gathered can be put to work to craft time choices that effectively address your current situation. Now that you have an enhanced awareness of the big picture, you can focus on your individual steps with fresh creativity and confidence.

Now ask yourself: How can you start clarifying your priorities right now to find time for what matters the most to you?

Feb 23, 2009

Stop Procrastinating!

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"Procrastination is a crime that only leads to sorrow. I can stop it any time; in fact, I will...tomorrow." -Author unknown

You will never make your dreams come true if you do not learn how to manage your tasks. Procrastination brings temporary relief but relief with consequences. It helps to realize that procrastination is a habit. Habits can be broken. Here are some strategies to help you break this life wasting habit:

1) Get organized. Make a list of what needs to get done as well as things you would like to do. A list will free your mind from having to remember everything. Once you write things down, you only have to remember where you keep the list.

2) Prioritize your "to do" list. This can be done by setting deadlines. Get yourself a calendar with plenty of room to write "to do" items. A notebook can also do the trick.

3) Bite off only what you can chew. Be careful not to overschedule yourself. Be realistic in what you can get done. If you have a large task that is overwhelming, break it down into smaller, more manageable projects. For example, planning a wedding can be broken up into: mailing out the invitations, ordering the cake, picking a china pattern and so on. It won't feel so overwhelming if you take a task at a time.

4) Change your expectations. Believing that things must be done in a certain way can really prevent you from getting things done. Are your standards too high? Are these your standards? Do you make unreasonable conclusions such as, "If I don't get it done perfectly then I am a failure."
I encourage you to keep high standards but you may need to recognize that your 80% effort may be someone else's 100%. Don't spend hours striving to do things perfectly if your good enough is truly good enough.

5) Schedule your activities that need to get done when you are at your peak productivity time. So, if you are an early bird or a night owl, take this into consideration.

6) Make a decision. Often people delay because they cannot make up their mind to follow through. Make a clear and committed decision to get things done. Sometimes it is better to risk the possibility of making a mistake than to not make the decision at all.

7) If you have several small things on your list, do these first. It creates a sense that you have less to do because your list is now shorter.

8) When you complete a task, draw a line through it. This helps you feel like you are getting somewhere.

9) Do unpleasant tasks first. Putting off dreaded activities only stirs up negative thoughts and feelings.

10) Schedule rewards. Many experts suggest that you should give yourself a reward for getting things accomplished. They propose a cookie or a piece of cake. I don't like this idea because you will just end up being an overweight achiever. Instead, tell yourself that when you finish your task, you will go to some desired place or do some enjoyable activity such as going to a movie or going out with friends. Knowing that your list is completed will help you relax and make the most of your reward activity.

11) Anticipate Murphy's Law. Whatever can go wrong, will go wrong. This is how procrastinators get themselves into trouble. Provide yourself with a cushion of time just in case something goes wrong. When I was a procrastinator, I thought I worked better under pressure. Now that I have reformed myself, I love the peace of mind of knowing things are done.

12) Minimize Distractions. Remove or turn off things that distract you. Turn off the television, silence your phone, or hang a Do Not Disturb sign on your door.

13) Make a game out of unpleasant tasks. See how quickly you can do it or give yourself points as you go along. If you are doing the task with someone, make it a race or a competition.

14) Visualize the task completed. Develop a mental image of the completed task and how you will feel at that time. Seeing the end in sight can be quite motivational.

15) Eliminate all but the essential. Don't bog yourself down with things that really don't matter or are not appreciated. Delegate tasks if possible.

16) Do it now! Whenever you catch yourself thinking, "I can do this later", think" DO IT NOW!" Every time you follow through and do it now you are reinforcing the positive habit of action.

If all of this talk about getting things done is making you anxious, simply take a breath. Remembering to breathe is good advice when it comes to getting started. Then take a step towards doing something. Enjoy the happiness and increased self esteem that will be yours as you conquer procrastination.

The Infamous, Heinous and Nefarious 'To-Do' List!

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The interesting thing about the history of the to-do list is that there doesn't seem to be any history. What you find instead is every type of list program, software, mind-mapping tool and task management solution you could ever hope for. All of which promise, to some degree or other, to help you manage your tasks quickly and easily, have access to reminders no matter where you are on earth, provide custom organization tailored to fit your needs, a way to locate your tasks - like you'd ever lose them! and to add tasks - like we need more - with the privilege of doing so wherever you go. Hmmm, does this sound like something you need or want? Everyone has them, some of us even attempt to stick with them and some unsung hero's have found ways to utilize these agendas to make their lives roll along ever more smoothly but, what do we really know about them. Did a senior Greek philosopher shriek in frustration one day in the near silence of an ancient library "I need a To-Do List!" I wonder if he got kicked out for it.

I was busily detailing some items when my hubby asked what I was doing, "Oh, just making up my usual checklist," I answered as it tumbled to my knees. Some months I plan well in advance! The question of whether or not they actually work is also something of a question mark; as is the purpose and main function they are supposed to serve, but this is up to the individual using them. Many people carry their daytimers or a journal around with them everywhere they go and these generally include an index for time management. In my journal I just use the other half of the page as a daily catalogue that acts as my schedule for the day where I check off what has been accomplished and what remains outstanding. These lists can get quite complicated and if caution is not exercised, they can overwhelm your life. The KISS principle is the easiest to follow but keeping them simple can be a challenge in itself, depending on what you have going and how many aspects there are to it. For instance...

A business man with meetings to manage, appointments to keep and projects to work on will have an altogether different arrangement than a home-schooling mom with two boys; managing the weekly kids sports or scout activities, managing a part time job or two, a household to run, groceries to buy, a budget to organize and a tracking system to pay the bills with. Did I mention scheduling appointments with the doctor, dentist and chiropractor for the family or the monthly car maintenance? Whatever shape they take is as varied and different as the individual who writes them. Not to be boring, there can be pictures and graphics, formatting on a computer and printed out or just written hurriedly and last-minutely on a scrap of paper that ends up scruffed in a heap at the bottom of your purse or coat pocket. Just one more contraption we cooked up in an attempt to keep ourselves organized, its left to the individual to the make correct usage of. Maybe that is the difficulty we face, not realizing that a to-do list is actually a formal organizational system and should be used thus to gain the results we want to attain. My own list was born out of necessity years ago and has evolved to become a rather formal document at times, depending on my needs. I have a tendency to alter it to re-fit my needs when occasion calls for it.

Currently mine includes the following items that I like to record on a monthly basis: the whole top of the page contains my current bill amounts, interest, minimum payments with dates, bill payment outlays, balances, next payment dates and are color coded. Next to that I indicate all incoming funds and savings. My basic daybook includes a numbered approach starting with 1 to 20 alongside the following: yes, no, continuation date, done, budget for, save for and items that need cash flow, beside it. Under that is my reminder menu for important dates, emails, phone calls, mail and all other correspondence that I either have to make or have received; this includes recording phone numbers, email addresses, civic addresses, the names of individuals, companies and contacts. Then I have a section for the same funds and current bills carryover for the next 31-day cycle; adding and deleting items as they change. This is basic for me though it could become more complex I need, to keep things as simple and straightforward as possible to deal with what needs to be dealt with so as to not become distracted by too many extraneous items.

Often I feel haunted by the particulars of my outline simply because some days the details seem so numerous. I have devised strategies to handle them using delegation and priority tools to determine what is most to least vital and I have assigned certain days for particular tasks. Instead of going into town whenever I need a certain item, I run an ongoing shopping roll where I jot items as they come up. Since errands usually take up an entire morning or afternoon anyway, I choose one day out of the week specifically for errands. This way I do not overuse the vehicle and burn fuel unnecessarily. It's all about curbing expenses and utilizing time adequately to gain the most out of our days. Things left on my tally at the end of one day are carried over to the next until they are completed within a week. Setting a timeframe like this helps to get low priority items done and cleared off my calendar. As much as a headache as it can occasionally be, I have come to depend on it to organize my life and accomplish my goals. I would recommend it to everyone as a time-saver scheduler, even if you have to improvise your own to make it 'fit' your life.

Efficient Time Management

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Part of living a complete and full life is making sure that you have the time to do the things that you enjoy other than working. The workaholic attitude may seem beneficial at first, but as your life grows with a possible marriage or family, you will find that spending all of your time at the office and worried about business is not the best choice you can make. Strike a balance by learning how to efficiently manage your time so that you have the freedom to do what you want with your family as well complete your work tasks.

Knowing how to make the best use of the time you already have is kind of like creating the illusion that there is more time in the day. When you have an efficient way of handling your time, not only will your business run smoothly, but you will be able to enjoy your hobbies as well.


We all know the old saying about how all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. It also keeps you from becoming a complete person as well. There is nothing wrong with having commitment to your job or your business, but to do so without giving yourself the time to relax and enjoy life will lead to a workplace burnout and it can keep you from establishing real and lasting relationships with your friends and family.

Create more time for yourself by making the best use of the time you already have. Give yourself the illusion of creating more hours in the day that you can use to relax and enjoy life!

Feb 22, 2009

Time Management Tips to Increase Your Personal Work Productivity

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When there is so much competing for our attention, how do we keep up our work productivity? We've all had days when it seems like nothing gets accomplished, facing one interruption after another. As a creature of habit, I seem to work better when I have a system to follow.

The key to getting things accomplished is to maintain focus and build momentum on the important tasks. Here's a few things you can do to improve your time management skills.

Vary your Work Environment

These days, I do everything via a laptop computer that I can take with me. Sometimes I find that there are certain types of work for which my home office is just not conducive...such as a big research project, contemplating an important financial move, and such. These are typical things that many of us procrastinate on because it seems so cumbersome to do them.

However, I find when I change my surroundings, I can create an environment where I can actually get excited about that which I have been avoiding. This might be the local library or a coffee shop/internet cafe. The net effect is that I am creating a comfortable environment in which to put forth a focused block of time toward an important task...all contributing to a feeling of well-being.

Match Tasks with your Work Productivity Patterns

Do you find that you work most effectively if you stay focused on one task at a time? But what about those emails that need to be answered, websites you want to check out, that essential reading you need to do? I group these tasks into several categories which I handle in focused segments of time throughout the week.

For example, I handle emails in short blocks, 2 times/day. I return calls twice/day. I group my catch-up reading time and website reviews into the early evening, because this is the time when I let myself relax after a productive day. Being a morning person, this works for me; whereas, you may be a night person and setup a different routine.

Treat Important Blocks of Time as Appointments

I find it helpful to break my day into segments, being flexible around what is most pressing. Most people have no problem, typically, in blocking off a piece of the day for a meeting. Yet, if we know that we should take a block of time to design a new landing page, or write a series of articles, we often allow that time to get interrupted with phone calls, going off on internet tangents, constantly checking emails, etc. Instead, treat those segments like appointments...allowing nothing to get in the way.

Do your Most Important Project First

For me, creating forward momentum on our Internet business is the highest priority. So, the first 4 hours of my work day is when I devote to that purpose. It's like an ongoing appointment that I do not vary unless something pressing (pre-planned) trumps it. I shut off the phones and don't check emails. This allows me to get into the productive space such that one task flows efficiently into the next.

Then, at the end of this period, I have a feeling of accomplishment. I can then focus on the other tasks that need attention, or as is often the case, continue on my internet business-building tasks. Most importantly for me, it allows me to approach the rest of my day in a more relaxed fashion.

Try these approaches for yourself. You might just find that they increase your personal productivity.

5 Steps to Better Time Management

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Take a look around you at your desk, your incoming mail and other paper items, your email inbox, your voicemail inbox, and at your cell phone. Do you see a lot of clutter or large piles of "work" waiting for you to get to it? Maybe you're one who says "But it's all OK, because I know where everything is". That's just a convenient way of ignoring the fact that you have not done anything about the piles of backlog. You don't really even know whether all of the items in these stacks are work-in-progress, waiting to be done. How would you know? What if half of the items in all those stacks could simply be tossed into the trash?

You may be spending a lot of time on unimportant things, feeling like you're spinning your wheels and getting nowhere. As each new item arrives you either react to it or more than likely, you stick it on yet another pile. Do you have a pile marked "urgent"? Think about that for a moment. You might think you don't have a system or process for managing work. In fact, you do. The system you are using is designed to sort potential work into various piles only to be deferred indefinitely. Ironically, the time you take to sort the potential work is not actually work at all and simply causes you to waste more time. As Henry Ford said, "It has been my observation that most people get ahead during the time that others waste."

The good news is that the gap between getting ahead and wasting time can be closed with a five step process. This process replaces procrastination with a far more productive time and work management system. I chose 5 steps with simple words to make it easy to remember and yet each conveys a lot of meaning. The steps are:

1. Prioritize
2. Categorize
3. Synthesize
4. Exercise
5. Regularize

Step 1: Prioritize means recognizing that some items are most aligned with accomplishing your mission or long range goals. These would be important, and if the item has a short term timing constraint, then it will become urgent as well. If time is not a current constraint then the item will be important but not urgent. Some items come in that appear to be very urgent. Often they are urgent and even potentially important to someone else, but not necessarily important to you. We can easily be distracted by these items. Lastly, there is a category of items that are neither urgent, nor important. They should definitely be the last thing we look at in any given day when other items still need attention.

So the 4 levels of priority are:

1. Important and urgent
2. Important but not urgent
3. Urgent but not important
4. Not urgent or important

"If you want to make good use of your time, you've got to know what's most important and then give it all you've got," seems very apt advice from Lee Iacocca at this point.

Step 2. Categorize is the process of examining every item in each queue and stack and determining what type of information or work is involved. This literally means sorting the stacks and piles into organized groups. This still does not yet clarify what work is to be done next, but it creates the foundation for that step. The list of categories can be long but to make the new process work effectively and remain manageable select no more than 8 or 10 categories. These categories may include:

• Customer requests
• Sales
• Customer service
• Internal Process
• Administration
• Reading material
• Research

Step 3. Synthesize means taking the newly sorted stacks from step 2 and assigning a priority to them, according to the priorities listed in step 1. Yes, you're sorting the stacks again, but this time the process will have a direct impact on how you spend your time in the future. It may become clearer now that some items are logically more important than others. Customer and sales activity is clearly more important and often more urgent than any internal administration or reading to stay up on industry trends. Some examples of synthesizing decisions may include:

• Customer request for price quote: Priority Level 1
• Sales meeting to finalize agreement with new prospect: Priority Level 1
• Customer Service to fix a technical problem: Priority Level 1
• Internal Process to implement new IT system: Priority Level 2
• Administration to prepare for tax filing in 3 months: Priority Level 3
• Research on competitors: Priority Level 3
• Reading material on industry/market trends: Priority Level 4

Step 4. Exercise means finally getting down to doing the actual work that now sits in front of you. You are now equipped with a process model to effectively work on the things that are most important to your business and your success first. This step includes:

1. Process the stacks - use the Priority model, starting with Priority 1 items
2. Use Priority model for all new items so that each new item is immediately assigned a priority
3. Put reading/research into a "Save" stack. If several months later you still haven't read it, scan through it and throw all the stale material away.
4. Never accumulate any other stacks going forward by immediately deciding the category and priority of each incoming item.

Step 5. Regularize means adjusting your daily routine and work habits to match the new system you have just created. Consider the following elements in this ongoing phase:

• Establish a routine fast response to all Level 1 items. Be prepared to bump level 3 or 4 items off your calendar and defer them in favor of a new level 1.
• Schedule time on calendar for all items, and that include all levels as well.
• Fix frequent time on your calendar for Levels 1 & 2 so that daily attention is paid, by design, to the most important priorities.
• Schedule Level 3 for twice a week "checkups" - half-hour each time. The checkup serves to review and decide whether the priority remains the same or should be changed, and also when to schedule time to execute that item.
• Schedule Level 4 for twice a month "checkups" - half hour each time. Limit time, but schedule it on your calendar, for all the reading material that builds up in "save" piles. After 3 months, review the "save" pile and ask yourself this question "what is the worst thing that would happen if I did not have this information?" Odds are you can't think of anything bad. Then throw the item in the TRASH.

Finally, every day with every task or project you take on, ask, "Is what I'm doing or about to do getting us closer to our objective?" as Robert Townsend put it. If not, go and look at your level 1 or 2 lists and do that instead. Don't forget to celebrate the small successes and pretty soon you'll be surprised at how much you have accomplished.

How to Manage Your Time and Enjoy Your Life More

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You must have heard of "Time is money" but is it everything? Well, if you really know how to manage time better, you will not only have money but also be able to enjoy life better. But are you able to do that in your regular fixed job?

So, why not try taking up freelancing jobs and get more out of your life?
But if you think it is difficult to systematically work at home with the kids and home chores, try using these tips to manage your time and enjoy your life more.

• Stop wasting time
Log your working hours. There are many minutes which add up to hours which are spent chatting with your colleagues and friends in office. If you keep a daily log for 2 weeks, you would be able to see how you can save those precious moments and finish the assigned jobs faster, giving you time to enjoy with your family.

• Schedule Freelancing Jobs
Unless you are a high skilled professional, you can always look for better careers in freelancing that will give you flexibility and more time with your family without compromising on the pay. But you need to set a schedule such that you can stick to it. Sometimes, late night work for freelancers while for many, early mornings work fine.

• Stay Focused and Set Priority
For scheduling deadlines and projects, set yourself a priority list, tracking and analyzing your time. Just make a note on the list of projects that need to be done to make your work flow smooth. Don't procrastinate, but stick to your schedule so that your work does not suffer.

• Always Under promise but Over Deliver
Never over commit yourself but take on only as much as you can do. By over committing you create a tense situation for yourself and inconvenience to the client. Some people just cannot say NO and land themselves with too many things which are difficult to handle thus invariably causing more tensions. So always judge how much you can handle and prioritize your work.

• Look for work at the right place
You might be scouring the web for new job potential but if you stick to a few good sites that list freelance jobs online. Not only do these sites research and list freelancing and part time jobs, some of the sites also help you get a list of jobs in your mailbox daily.

If you know how to plan your time efficiently, not only would you be working better but earning more too.

Feb 21, 2009

Great Time Management Method

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Twice as Many appointments in the Same Amount of Time.

Today you are about to learn a technique I have used for many years to allow me to do twice and even 3 times as many appointments as my competitors in the same 8 hour day.

First let me tell you how most people do it as to draw a comparison. Most people block out an 8 hour day. Let's say 8 AM to 5PM. They allow for 15 minute breaks and allow for an hour for lunch.

Starting at 8 am . The first 20 minutes is usually time to get ready to get started. Make coffee, Straighten up Desk, Go over what was not finished the day before etc. Lets also assume that they take a break at 10:00 am for 15 min. They also get the same Break again at 3:00 pm. They take lunch at 12 Noon and return at 1:00 pm at which time they start over again like they where starting their day. Another 20 Minutes.

Ok,. So this leaves from-

8:20 to 9:59Am, From 10:16 till 11:59am<<>>1:16 to 2:59pm, From 3:16 till 4:59pm.

This is not true of everyone of course but most office staff works on this time schedule. I suggest right off, that some changes need to happen. Before we get to that, When would you schedule Appointments if you were calling out on the phone to them? Let's assume most appointment's take 30 Minutes.

Most people would say,
8:30, 9:00, 9:30, Break. 10:30, 11:00, 11:30 Break for Lunch
Same for the after noon,
1:30, 2:00, 2:30, Break 3:30, 4:00, 4:30 Time to go home. Now if you are an office worker with out either having to do the Interview appointment, then someone else is working with you. But if you work alone, then their needs to be some time to do the paper work that is involved after or before each appointment. So many of you just do your paper work if someone is a no show, or if you finish early on a call, then you wait until the next Half Hour Slot to get back on the phone for your next call?Also, Can we agree that with the best scenario that you would schedule 6 appointments in your way of doing things?

This has been all leading up to this.... Allow me for a minute to open your mind to possibility. The possibility that there could be a much more productive way. The way I have been using successfully for many years.

First, Mark your scheduler into 15 minute slots.

8:15  1st Appointment  This one is there and ready.          Done at 8:40

8:30 2nd Appt. is There and Ready. Done at 9:05

8:45 3rd appt. There and Ready. Done at 9:30

9:00 4th Appt is a NO SHOW

9:15 5th Calling at 9:33... There and Ready Done at 9:57

9:30 6th Appt is a NO SHOW

9:45 7th Calling at 9:59 There and Ready Done at 10:29

10:00 8th Appointment is a NO SHOW

10:15 etc.

10:30 etc.

10:45 etc.

11:00 etc.




Now lets assume that some will forget you are calling. Also, Tell each appointment that it should run about 30 minutes and to expect your call from 8 to 8 30. Second call from 8:15 until 8:45, 3rd appointment from 8:30 until 9 am, 4th from 8:45 until 9:15 and so on. Now notice I didn't say you would be calling at 8am, or 8:45 am Sharp but to expect my call between the given times. Allow yourself a 30 minute window to call them.

I have found that through the years I can count on about 50% - 75% of people to be there. I also know that I can book 15 Appointments in the morning and 15 Appointments in the after noon. That is 30 Appointments in 1 day! If you did 6 a day for 5 days you would set 30 for the week while I set 30 for the day. I guess that would make me 80% more productive than you? That means I would do a months worth of appointments in 4 days?

Ok, you may have a couple of questions? 1, Yes, take your break when ever it is close to your break time and you have a cancellation if you are caught up with your appointments. Oh, What if you do not get a break, I tell you what, if you talk to people from 8:10 AM until 11:59 AM then I will give you Tomorrow morning OFF!! Do not come to work until 1 PM Tomorrow! Will you be ahead, of course. You see I do not a helper, or more time, I just need to Schedule more appointments.

The key to my program is that every time I get done with one caller, I start the next one and I am not late, they are expecting me and I am not sitting around waiting for my next appointment time. Plus that added value here is that people will be able to hear it in your voice that you are an important person and need to wrap things up so you can get to helping the next person on your schedule.

People love to work with busy people who are organized. Happy Selling !

Use These 8 Time Management Tips to Reduce Your Stress and Improve Your Time Management

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"Time is one thing that can never be retrieved. One may lose and regain friends. One may lose and regain money. Opportunity, once spurned, may come again. But the hours that are lost in idleness can never be brought back to be used in gainful pursuits" ~Winston Churchill

1. Develop a meal plan.
Knowing what you are going to have in advance will reduce the frantic running around for the essential ingredient. Cooking in bulk can also help to reduce time spend slaving away in the kitchen.

2. Beat procrastination
Procrastination is a thief of time, and while it is a comfortable bed to sleep in it can be a hard habit to break. If you find that there are important tasks that you are not getting to in the day, then this is a signal that you could be procrastinating. There are many reasons for procrastination, and knowing your reason is generally the best way to beat procrastination. Ways to eliminate procrastination include drawing up a pro's and con's list, setting clear goals, rationalization and so forth.

3. Reduce your TV time
TV can be fun to watch but if you watch too much it can be a big time waster. I look at the shows that I want to watch that week and the record them on my DVD. This way I save 20 minutes every hour because I don't watch the advertisements. This also allows me to watch the TV on my time, rather than theirs!

4. Do your friends love to talk on the phone
This can be a real timewaster. While it is great to talk to your friends on the phone, if you need to call someone who really talks, then try to call them when it easy for you to get off the phone. For example, I call just before class or late in the day before dinner.

5. Work your body clock.
Each of us has a natural rhythm throughout the day. When are you most productive? When are you least productive? I am most productive in the morning before lunch, so I plan to do those things that require my best effort then. In mid afternoon I am least productive, and plan those things that require little energy.

6. Declutter
If you don't know where you have left the keys, or you are overwhelmed with the mountain of paper that is on your desk, it is time to declutter and organize. Clearing away the clutter and organizing yourself will increase your effectiveness and reduces your stress.

7. Delegate.
Delegation is one of the most praised but least used time management tools. Delegation, when done well, provides and opportunities to train the people around you and also helps to free up your time to do more important tasks.

8. Exercise
Research shows that exercising before midday is related to people reporting greater feelings of happiness and as though they have got through more in their day.

The Importance of Study Time Management to Lead a Balanced College Life

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Entering college is usually an exciting time of life for most individuals. You get to make new friends and enjoy the freedom and fun associated with the college way of life. It is important, however, to keep a balanced perspective on all areas associated with college life. It is easy to get caught up in the party lifestyle and to loose perspective on what is important; your studies. College student time management is imperative for managing work and course commitments, avoiding procrastination, staying on top of money management, reducing stress and avoiding the need to cram.

Some students are better at college student time management than others. This often depends on personal discipline levels and existing life experience. Organized individuals or those that have been exposed to techniques for personal organization can find the transition to college life easy. For others, they need some basic guidelines to help better control areas of college life that can make and break your study efforts. The following represents some practical suggestions for study time management.

Procrastination affects most students at some stage of their studies. Often the desire to avoid doing a specific task has to do with boredom, the fear of poor results or concern over negative evaluations. Not getting started can lead to stress, anxiety and ultimately panic. The way to overcome this is to break down each task into small sub tasks. A schedule can help you dedicate appropriate time to each sub task. If you need motivation to get a task done then consider creating a reward that you will be entitled to upon completion. Scheduling difficult tasks during your most productive work time is also a good way to maintain productivity and concentration.

Most students who are not well prepared can relate to cramming. Perhaps you know someone who consistently pulls all nighters? This can work in the short term but can often mean that you loose the information quickly if it is not committed to long term memory. By having a properly designed and organized schedule you can pace your study time management and balance your other commitments. Knowing how to properly design and structure your schedule is the key. Consider investing some time into learning how to go about doing this. Time invested upfront in getting setup correctly will pay long term dividends and make it easier for you to accomplish your goals and objectives.

Many students face financial challenges as part of college life. Not all students have the benefit of wealthy parents and are required to take part time work to provide income to assist with college commitments. Having good money management skills can help you better meet day to day living expenses and better plan your financial needs. It is important to track your spending, set budgets and have access to back up credit in case of emergencies. Make sure you plan your finances carefully so that you don't face needless worries that can affect the time and attention you dedicate to your study requirements.

Getting great grades and enjoying college can be accomplished by careful planning. Get started in the right direction by investigating time management, learning its importance and adopting it into your personal approach. Make sure that you make college student time management work for you so that you accomplish more with less effort, balance your work and study commitments and free up your time for social activities. Don't subject yourself to the pressure of not being prepared. The right plan of action can produce great results free from stress and worry.

Feb 20, 2009

Time Management Tips - 3 New Tips to Conquer the Inner Critic Who Steals Your Time

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Time management tips boost your self-confidence when you use them to harness thoughts to effectively manage your time. Your first step is re-channeling energy that is funneled into self-critical messages.

Critical messages sap your energy, confidence, and creativity. Because they distract you, they can sabotage your best work, creating a vicious self-fulfilling prophecy. Fortunately, they can only interfere if you allow them to.

So, how do you start building self-confidence through overcoming your Inner Critic? Begin with practicing these 3 Tips to quiet those critical messages. You will experience the delicious pleasure of tapping your inner power as you move throughout your day!

3 Tips to Conquer the Inner Critic

  1. Slow down and recognize the voice of the Inner Critic. Catching the voice of the Inner Critic "in the act" is a vitally important accomplishment. Like diagnosing a cancer in its early stages, zeroing in on your critical voice before it sabotages you provides you with time and power to neutralize it quickly. You may have become so used to these messages that they form a toxic backdrop to your life. It is crucial to slow down and develop the capacity to recognize this voice when it appears. Practice writing down the critical messages that you give yourself. You'll slowly come to recognize the tone and the themes of this voice. The critical voice is not very creative, nor is it very interesting. You'll probably quickly come to recognize its patterns and cadences. Then the trick is to spot it in the moment!
  2. Once you recognize your Inner Critic's voice, simply name it. This may sound obvious, but it's very important. Tell yourself calmly, "Oh, there is my critical voice talking." Naming it is a quiet step toward separating yourself from this voice. In naming it, you are building self-confidence by subtly claiming your own power to isolate faultfinding and reject it. Your inner critical messages hold power only when you believe them and react to them. Recognizing and naming the source helps you to see that the messages you are giving yourself are tainted and not to be taken to heart.
  3. Don't be reactive to or try to argue with your Inner Critic. If you treat your Inner Critic as if it were rational, you are setting yourself up for endless struggles. This voice is by definition critical and negative; it can't be argued out of its opinion. Counter critical messages with clear, grounded, factual information. Do it respectfully and calmly - getting angry or being reactive involves giving away some of your power. You might say to yourself: "I hear that you think I am really looking very foolish right now. The fact is that your perspective is off base and I am enjoying dancing. If I listen to you, I'll stop enjoying what I'm doing - so I am choosing not to listen to your opinion. That is what it is - your opinion."

As you can see, the key to dealing with self-critical messages is to recognize them, name them, and then respond from a very grounded, factual, adult place within yourself. Give them a voice, but not a vote. In this way you retain your power, and move forward to make the very most of your time!

Now, ask yourself: What is your next step to start building self-confidence and finding more time?

Time Management Techniques For Home Workers

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Time management is essential to gain the long term benefits. But where should we start with the time management?

For effective time management there are two camps one is top down camp and second is bottom up camp. Top down camp give emphasis on setting long term goals, values, clarifying your mission before studying lower levels details. On the other hand, bottom down approach involves planning for the lower levels and current task before moving to higher levels.

Among both time management approaches for home owners, bottom-up approaches is the most effective approach. Here it is why?

Bottom-up approach describes the basics of time management - Bottom up approach concentrate primarily on any basics of home based business. While considering the basics and lower goals we can build the strong business foundation. Those women who understand their business fundamentals before setting the ultimate goal can establish their business and prepare it for long run.

Steps of fulfill your needs- Unless and until your basic needs of life does not fulfill, you will not move to other less important needs. As soon as person able to satisfy his basic needs he starts to prioritizes other needs.

The bottom-up time management techniques for home workers consists of controlling, meeting deadlines, stress reduction, responding to emergencies with accomplishing the other important projects that require for achievement of long term goals.

The human tendency- It is the human tendency that he first clarify his ultimate goal and later on he analyze the resources and then make a good start. For that he manages time and resources at initial step only.

Approaches towards higher levels- Setting an ultimate goal is essential but you need to do time management from the initial level otherwise you will end in doing things of without significance instead of achieving ultimate goal.

Time management techniques for home workers are useful and broad subject. For effective time management, it is best to divide and manage your time in different levels.

Every level should offer unique view of time management with different challenges and opportunities. These levels will guide you in executing the best practices for getting the fruitful results.

In the first level of bottom up time management techniques for home workers, you should emphasize on action and work for research. After that, consider task and project management for picking up the next important task and project that need to be accomplished with selection of proficient team at fourth level. System and processes comes at fifth level that clarifies the process of getting desired results with furtherance of strategic planning on sixth level. On seventh level a business woman should concentrate on her assigned responsibilities and try to lead and monitor different work that are required for successful mission accomplishment in the eight level.

Ultimately analyze your work and evaluate your deeds whether they meet the dream that you have in your life or not. This will enable you to lead in both your personal and official grounds.

Wrangling Your Time Management Demons

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A majority of the coaching conversations I'm involved in revolve around getting a better handle on time management.

There are a stable full of experts who claim to have the magic answer for you. From Franklin Covey organizers to applications like Don't Forget the Milk and a zillion choices in between.

The thing is, you have to find the best approach for you.

The most useful recommendations I can share have to do with my experience wrangling with my own time management demons.

Here is my simple and effective process.

EVERYTHING is input on my calendar.

I currently use iCal for my daily calendar and sync everything to mobile me and my Blackberry. Outlook can be used in a similar fashion (minus the mobile me part).

Quick Steps to Create an Organized and User Friendly Calendar

1. Create multiple calendars representing each part of your business and personal life.

2. Select a different color for each calendar.

3. Input your personal calendars first - Creating time for self care and moving your body.

Examples include:

* Important Birthdays - Enter them once with a recurring appointment and never miss another birthday.

* Your Personal Appointments - Plug in doctor visits, hair appointments, massages, lunch meetings, etc.

* Your Work Out Schedule - Get your yoga class or cardio routine plugged into your calendar and keep moving.

* Your Child's Calendar - Enter spring break, teacher in-service days, plays, sporting activities and conferences.

* Your Family Calendar - Enter family gatherings, vacations, etc.

I also created calendars for my business including: Coaching, Writing, Networking, Accounting and Marketing.

When I get really crazy, I assign tasks to each calendar by using the To-Do List option. I still like to write out my prioritized lists and scratch them off upon completion. When I travel, the electronic list option comes in handy.

This quick an easy calendar set up will save you time, keep you organized, and by color coding your activities, you can easily uncover where your life may be out of balance.

Daily maintenance keeps you 'in control' of your calendar and your life.

How do you manage your time?

Feb 19, 2009

The Practice of Time Management Gets You and Your Business to the Top!

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Are you a victim of 'I have no time' attitude? If not it is very good. It shows that you know how to manage your time in your business and personal life. A good time manager makes timely decisions and takes timely actions. That keeps his business ahead of competition.

Time management helps you to lead a stress free life, enjoy what you do in your business as well as in life and have more time for your family and leisure.

Time management needs self discipline. It involves self motivation, pre planning and organizing the way you work. Time Management develops you to be time conscious, skilled to identify and accept opportunities. It gives you the ability to maximize productivity of your work with optimum efficiency.

Why manage time? There is a theory that says that the Work expands to fill the time available for a task. That implies that if we do not manage time the jobs will expand to fill the time allotted. Then, less work in more time will result.

Since time is scarce we have to save it. We have to plan each activity to optimize the use of time. If we allow more time for a task than necessary, then the time will be wasted as time passed cannot be pulled back. Since time gone is time lost we have to manage the available time to do more.

There are barriers to time management. Some of these barriers are listed below;

a) Bad working habits,

b) Inadequacy of skills of handling tasks,

c) Fear and negative attitude,

d) Habit of postponing of doing things,

e) Poor and disorganized working environment,

f) Lack of prioritizing,

g) Absence of pre-planning and prior arrangements to perform tasks.

h) Habitually thinking that work is difficult or unpleasant,

An important step in time management will be Goal Setting. Time Managers are goal driven. They set goals and focus on reaching those goals by planning meticulously each task in a way to optimize time and performance. If you want to manage your time effectively then you too will have to be goal focused and goal driven. You have to focus on achieving your goals that enable you to manage your time effectively. You can identify your goals separately as personal goals, business goals, professional goals etc.

First thing first and for time managers their first daily task, on rising early in the morning, is to think of planning the days work. They plan with a fresh mind the activities to be performed by identifying goals for the day. Then they schedule each task on priority basis. Planning they do carefully by putting on paper for each activity the time needed, the actions required, how to perform or whom to delegate, deadlines for completing etc.

It will certainly help to identify the steps needed to achieve each task by breaking down activities in to smaller components in a manageable sequence. You can plan your day in this manner and have full control of your time.

The next step is to plan and find ways to avoid interruptions like telephone calls, unannounced visitor, noise disturbances and activities irrelevant to the task that deviate attention. By making arrangements for avoiding disturbances will enable the performing of the set goals as scheduled with least interruptions.

The final routine for the day is to do a time- review. This is done by systematically analyzing of the tasks completed as per the plans, their rate of success and failure, what went wrong and what preventive actions needed, what should be priority for the next day to make next day productive and useful.

The time management enables us to focus on what is important, to meet set deadlines and to perform important activities as priority. The time managers identify clearly the different nature of each activity that can be categorized as follows;

a) Urgent and important,

b) Not urgent but important,

c) Urgent but not important,

d) Not urgent and not important.

The categorization of tasks as above assists us to prioritize work, avoid stress, avoid anxiety, and focus on achieving results.

What Makes the Difference in Managing Your Time to Get Things Done?

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Do you ever say "I wish I had more time" or "I don't have time for that, I'm just too busy?" Well, we know we can't get more than 24 hours in a day, but what can we do to get things done that we really want to do?

It's not about trying to squeeze more things into the day, but doing fewer things of more importance.

It starts with getting a new perspective on what's really happening. Sometimes you need to step back and evaluate what you are really spending time on. Is it all what you really want to do or need to do? The key is identifying what you really want. When you ask yourself what it is, it's important to question yourself until you get to what is a core value or big goal than just what's on your to do list.

Once you've identified those important things, then it's time to make time for the activities or new projects that lead to achieving your goals. Here are some ideas to help you get started and get things done.

Take action. Most projects start with a simple action or two. It might be a phone call or email to get more information. The key is to just start. Once you get started, the next steps will appear and that builds momentum.

Block Time. Be specific and assign time on your calendar to work on projects, otherwise time passes and they never get started or come about. You need to honor this "appointment" if the goal is important to you.

Focus for five. If you still have trouble starting that project, just grab five minutes. The key is focus. If you focus for five minutes, you can identify the key objectives and some critical next steps.

Use a timer. Using a timer is a great tool to both monitor how long a project actually takes and setting a limit of how long you will work on it.

Still can't get to it? You may need to review your goals again and consider if this is the right time to start the new activity. There may be good reasons to delay the project. An honest evaluation can help determine that.

With a new perspective on time, try these tips and see how they can help you achieve what really matters in your life and your work.

Time Management in the Workplace - Slow Down and Still Get More Done

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Do you know what an overworked machine looks like? It functions at its optimum level right before it finally breaks down.

Does this seem like you?

Has your life turned into one big race to beat the clock? Does it feel like no matter what you do, you can never seem to catch up? Has this pressure to catch up caused you to go into overdrive - working faster and harder - fearing that one day you too might just break down?

Being on overdrive leads us to belief that we are being more productive. However, the reality is, it can be the quite opposite. When you are on overdrive, you are in a "do, do, do!" mode, without being able to slow down and step back.

As a Result, Time Management in the Workplace Suffers.

Instead, step back and slow down. Doing this can be very beneficial to your overall productivity in the workplace. Slowing down allows you to plan so you can do more with less effort and time. It also allows you to think more clearly and strategize better as you are less stressed and have more energy.

So, if you seem to be caught running on all cylinders, yet can't seem to get anything accomplished, it's time to step on the brakes and slow down.

Listed below are useful strategies for time management in the workplace, which you can use to ease yourself out of overdrive, yet still be as productive as you want to be.

Time Management Strategy #1 - Learn to delegate tasks. Whenever possible, delegate less important errands, especially repetitive tasks that can be done by a lower level staff member or assistant. Assigning minor tasks to others gives you extra time to take care of the more important projects and assignments, especially those that are critical for decision making and those that impact the bottom line.

Delegation not only saves you time, but money as well. The less time you waste on petty errands, the more time and money you can save by focusing on the bigger goals. Of course, there will always be tasks that require your attention and personal touch, so focus on those tasks yourself.

Time Management Strategy #2 - Brainstorm. Hold meetings with your staff to brainstorm better time management in the workplace techniques. They may have fantastic ideas that they have not voiced because they were never given the opportunity. Their specific skills and experience puts them in a good position to make thoughtful recommendations on use of time, ease of work, and improving job efficiency. This will encourage your staff to work together as a group to become a more effective, time efficient unit.

Remember, heed smart ideas and give credit where it is due. Otherwise employees will be unwilling to share their ideas in the future.

Time Management Strategy #3 - Go for a Walk. Slowing down means clearing your mind from the cluttering effects of your office. The best way to do this is go outside, walk around, and get some fresh air. This may sound like a waste of time, but it is very effective in de-stressing which plays a big part in easing you out of overdrive.

Also, talking a nice relaxing walk helps you remove all the ancillary worries from your mind that can get in the way of important obligations you have to focus on. By eliminating these distractions, your mind can be freed to better focus on these obligations, be more creative, and hence, be more productive.

In the workplace, it is easy to find ourselves falling into a fast track routine. However, the fast track might not be the right track. Meaning, it might not be the best pace for you to do the things you need to get done. Instead of the fast track, focus on the smart track.

The smart track is to slow down, relax, and plan ahead on ways you can save time. Doing so will allow you to do more without burning out like our overworked machine we mentioned in the first paragraph.

Feb 18, 2009

Classroom Management Tips - Time Management

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The good Earth has given us just 24 hours in a day. About six of those hours are spent in a typical grammar or high school classroom. And about 40 minutes are so are given to each class. That may seem like an eternity to a 12 year old, but the truth of the matter is, between taking attendance, getting kids to quiet down and the occasional fire drill, those 40 minutes are a drop in the bucket. Therefore, time management is essential...no...critical, if you're going to run an efficient classroom. This article will give you some tips to manage YOUR time effectively.

At the top of the list is to have each day's lesson plan done in advance. I'm not just talking about having it written on paper. I'm talking about "acting" it out at home to make sure that everything you want to accomplish can actually be done in the allotted time given to you. Sometimes, what looks good on paper turns out to be a whole different animal once you actually begin to go over the material. And naturally, you want to leave room for student questions.

Next thing you want to do is make sure that any aids that you need, such as projectors, computers, and so on, are in the classroom, ready to be used, and in working order. A typical teacher's nightmare is walking into their classroom expecting to find an overhead projector only to find a space where the projector was supposed to be. This wastes much valuable time trying to track one down, if one can even be found at all. And then if not, a whole class is wasted or plans have to be changed midstream. This is NOT effective time management.

If you're a traveling teacher, meaning you move from classroom to classroom, there are a couple of things that you should do. First, make sure that the classrooms you're going to have the necessary items to conduct your class. If they're not equipped, either arrange for them to be or bring the necessary items with you. Also, make sure that you keep all your books with you at all time. This gets a little tough if you don't have your own classroom and have many different subjects, but if you're teaching the same thing all day, it does become a lot easier.

In my signature you'll find a review of a great classroom management resource that I think you'll find most helpful in keeping your classroom organized.

10 Quick and Easy Time Management Tips For Everyone

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OK, so:

1) "A two-minute rule" This rule says that if you have to do something and it can be done within 2 minutes - do it immediately, because you'll waste more time if you have to go back to it later.

2) "a seventy-two hour rule" This rule says that if you have to do something soon and if you don't do it in 72 hours the chances that you ever do it at all are very small. So if if you have to do something try to do it in 72 hours.

3) If you have an appointment at some place with somebody, call him/her in advance before going there and ask if he/she will come for sure. If you don't do it then there is a risk that the person won't come but you will and you will waste some time.

4) All meetings shall last no longer than 1 hour. It's enough to discuss a problem. (After 60 minutes or so people start loosing attention to the topic and become less concentrated)

5) Always have a plan of the meeting. Keep to the points of the plan.

6) Find out the most time consuming activities in your life. Maybe it's TV or Internet.

7) Don't go to a meeting - if you don't have to.

8) Find out your most important goals in your life. Set some minor steps to these goals. Concentrate on these small steps.

9) Use your car audio system to listen to some educational audio programs.

10) Use S.M.A.R.T. goals for every goal in your life (http://www.topachievement.com/smart.html for example).

I hope that these quick time management tips will help you in your life and career.

Seven Sins of Time Management

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Another day goes by and you didn't get to the gym, finish the report, complete your tax return, or organize the holiday. There's too much to do and so many things eat away at your time. Your vices may not be deadly, but they slow you down. You won't be smothered in brimstone or fire, or force-fed rats, toads and snakes for your sins, but you will be running around like a headless chicken. Learn to conquer your foibles and make more of your time. Here are seven sins that lead to wasted time and how to avoid them.

Vanity - Pride comes before a fall and that won't make you look very good.

All that time spent competing for the spotlight, dressing up yourself and your work, and pooh-poohing the efforts of others because only you can do it right helps you create an impression ... but is it of substance or moonshine? The time you spend telling people what you're doing, adding bells and whistles to a report, and re-doing others' work because they didn't do it quite right, would be much better spent concentrating on adding quality and perfection to content rather than packaging. What key things must you do to fulfill your role? If you don't know, then find out, do them, keep doing them, and stop talking about it. Do the right things right and your results will speak for themselves.

Greed - What you keep for yourself, you'll pay for in time.

The more you do yourself, the less others have. Your colleagues want fulfillment too. It's common to carry over work from a previous position or occupation into a new role, just to keep your hand in. But what about the hands and minds of those working with you? You know you should delegate and share the load, so why don't you? Either you don't trust your teammates or you're trying to fill your time to avoid your real tasks. If you don't let others try things you mastered long ago, they'll never learn, you'll never learn to trust them, so you'll continue to interfere. Do everyone a favor and start working as a team. Leave other's work to them and leave at a decent time tonight.

Envy - You want what's not yours to have, so don't waste time stressing over it.

The promotion goes to that young dude who's still wet behind the ears. It's just not fair, is it? Maybe it is fair. What does that green-eyed monster lead you to do or not do? Withhold co-operation, maybe? Ignore requests? Work to rule or do more than everyone else? Keep knowledge and information to yourself? Spend time day dreaming or net searching for what could be, if only? Focusing on what's not happened just adds stress to your life. Life is a bowl of cherries. Ignore the pips, enjoy the sweetness and you'll get through more in less time with your just desserts.

Gluttony - You want more time, but let's face it, there's a set number of hours in a day.

You need more time to finish the report, prepare the presentation, talk the customer into buying, make the decision. The more time you have the more you want. Why is that? It's likely you face one of several challenges. You lack some skills, you procrastinate, or you don't know when to stop. The remedies are simple. Spend time mastering the skill you lack- learning the skill will take a lot less time than working around your ignorance! Get down to it. It may feel good to have a cleared email box, to have tidied your desk, or to complete any of your other minor tasks. But these are simple and aren't high priority. Concentrate on things you MUST do, not what are easy to do and on the face of it look like a lot. Get into the habit of scheduling time for your important tasks. You keep your appointment for the dentist, so keep your appointment for working on the marketing plan. This also helps if you suffer from not knowing when to stop. Set aside a time to achieve a task and stick to it. Remember the 80/20 rule. Only 20% of what you do really matters. Focus on these things and achieve 80% of your results. Spend 80% of your time on the 20% that matters and you'll be terrific.

Sloth - All that activity at night makes you sleep all day.

Ever wondered why you can't be bothered, can't get motivated, keep having coffee breaks and end up working into the wee small hours? You're in a vicious cycle of late night working, lack of sleep, weariness, slow production, daytime disappearing down a sleepy hollow, leading to another late night, and on, and on. Get out of it. Focus on the cost of your late nights and daytime lethargy. What's it going to feel like if you continue like this? Feel it badly. Feel it hurt. Then change it. Move away from what you don't want to what you do want. Focus on the pleasure of leaving work on time, spending time with friends or family, taking in a movie, getting to the gym. Imagine awakening fresh and ready for the day. Think of all the good reasons why this lifestyle makes sense. You'll be motivated to do it. Think you can't do it? Then you'll be right. Think you can do it? You couldn't be more right.

Lust - That craving for power, success or recognition blinds you to what you really love doing.

The temptation to keep on lusting after something can become a habit your body no longer enjoys. Are you too busy making a life you thought you wanted rather than getting a life? It's common to demand more of yourself, to want more out of life and to chase the masses of opportunities that abound. But is the future rosy if it consists of working long hours, foregoing holidays, living to work? What don't you want in your current life? Write down five things you can do without then toss them away. What one thing must you really have? Are you spending time getting it? If not, stop what you're doing and make time to go for what matters.

Anger - Stamp it out.

It won't fix anything, it won't do any good, and it may make things a whole lot worse. Dealing with difficult people or situations can make you seethe and lose your cool. You know it's not productive to get into an argument with the bank clerk, or take a hammer to your computer. Take control of your moods. You can choose how to react to a situation. Do you want revenge? No need to waste your time. What goes around comes around, so let Father Time, not your time, take a misdoer to task. Anger will distract you from what's important. Concentrate on the present and future, learn from the past and move onwards and upwards.a


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