Making the most of my time often means a few easy steps that I’ve found works; and many time-management professionals agree. Here are ten top ways that may help you manage your time.
- Prepare yourself physically and mentally. In the days I was writing, my office was a spare bedroom. Nevertheless, I found that I took my job more seriously if I simply got dressed to “go to the office.”
- Set a daily goal. Because I was writing professionally at the time, I set a goal of three completely finished and edited type-written words each day.
- Make your goals obtainable and simple. My goal of 600 words each day was easily obtainable and I found that I almost never did ONLY 600 words. Doing more than my goal gave me an even greater sense of accomplishment.
- Work out a daily schedule. Even though it’s been about 30 years since I began this time management routine, I’ve found that the method of working out a daily schedule for myself has allowed me to accomplish far more than I would have ever dreamed.
- Accomplish one task at a time. When my husband was once asked, “How has your wife accomplished so much?” He said, “That’s easy. She only does one thing at a time. She completes one task before she moves to the next.” In all honestly, I always felt this was a detriment; but as I analyzed his statement, I began to feel that perhaps he was correct. The Lord had taken what I felt was a drawback and turned it into an asset.
- Don’t let the magnitude of the overall project deter you from the daily scheduled tasks. When we begin a large endeavor, it is important to not be overcome with the fact that this is a “big job.”
- Don’t look at the overall “big job” but settle to bite off one small piece at a time. As a young mother, I often turned on the soap operas during my afternoon breaks. In one episode an older woman was knitting a sweater while she and a friend talked. The friend was much younger. The young woman asked her knitting friend, “How can you knit a whole sweater?” The older woman stopped knitting. She smiled and replied, “Oh, I never knit a whole sweater. I knit one arm, then a second arm, then a yolk and so on until at the end I have a sweater.” I really felt this was a word of wisdom given to me from the Lord. I’ve used the One Arm Method ever since.
- Keep a list of the things you must accomplish in a day. Then mark off the things you finish as they are completed.
- Make each task a game. A friend told me that she had struggled for years with completing her tasks until she was a mother. To help my son, I made every working task a game for him. ”I’d set the timer and see how many toys he could put up in a minute. Many times he and I would compete. I found it worked so well for him that also started making my tasks a game. My daily tasks didn’t become exactly fun but they were easier,” she reported. I loved the idea and started playing at my work from that day.
- Don’t let interruptions destroy your concentration on the task at hand. In the office, I find that almost all my interruptions are phone calls. With the cell and cordless phones, it is much easier to keep stride and continue to work even when interruptions come.
Naturally, you have your own list of tricks that have worked for you. What are they? Share with us.