Over the past few weeks, I’ve been aggregating what time management tips I pitch to clients to get more done in the limited amount of time they have.
It’s a mix of managing your time more effectively and procrastination. By the way, if you feel that you’re the worst offender in the world, get in line. We ALL suffer from these ailments:
- Time management is really prioritization (coupled with organization skills). If you really want to get something done, make it the most important thing you need to do.
- You will always find an excuse to procrastinate. Procrastination has its own inbuilt solution, involving panic and adrenaline.
- Divide a project into manageable chunks. Take frequent breaks. Falling back to regroup can help many people recharge and regain focus when things start getting fuzzy or monotonous.
- “Perfect is the enemy of good.” I set a good balance of quality and time — I schedule a strict deadline and work to it. The product will be of exemplary nature — it won’t be perfect, but it will be close to perfect everytime.
- Work for 50 minutes out of an hour. The Pomodoro technique works pretty well for me. http://www.pomodorotechnique.com/
- Learn what your productivity kryptonite is. For some it’s TV in the background, internet. (If you can’t work with reddit open, close it. Put a clock based time block on if you dont have the willpower. I’m not even kidding. There are a bunch of computer plugins/programs you can download to block yourself from distracting websites: Leechblock (Firefox plugin), StayFocusd (Chrome plugin), Nanny (Chrome plugin), SelfControl (Mac program).
- Always have a notepad. Write down anything/everything you may think you will forget in short form. Shorthand would be a great bonus.
- Plan your tasks. Set clear Personal Goals/Priorities of tasks/day plans. Keep your to-do lists short…meaning nothing more than 2 or 3 steps. I’ve found that if I follow this, there’s a better chance of getting going and less chance of becoming overwhelmed and giving up.
- Go to a public place where I feel I might be judged if I am not doing work. Since I’m in college, this is the university library, but for you it might be the public library or the company cafeteria. This is pretty effective for me.
- Make a schedule of what you will do in a day and stick to it. Reward yourself for achieving your goals daily, but limit the amount of time you spend on the reward.
- Buy this book. I read it a few months ago. I already felt more relaxed in the first week and it keeps getting better. It really helps you to focus on the thing that needs to be done.
- Find out which day hours you are at you best. For example, I am a morning person so I try to do critical tasks in morning.
- Eliminate the things which tend to eat your time like unnecessary phonecalls/long chats with people etc.
- Don’t play the victim. If I get distracted by something, it isn’t the fault of what distracted me, or my cluttered-brain, or whatever’s making me sad, or some ADD affliction… it’s my fault. I did that.
- Start each day with the proper mindset. I think the song (or at least the hook on the song) Hustlin’ by Rick Ross describes the mindset I aim for.
- Buy noise canceling/isolating head phones are a giant productivity boost for me, too. Allows for focus and also discourages people from bothering you/taking up your time when they’re on.
And finally, my favorite:
I have set my business up in such a way that the only work I need to take care of is incredibly important to me. I personally know nobody else who has done this, and you can certainly tell the difference. When you get older, try hard as hell to put yourself in a position where what you do is what you love.