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If you are reading this article, you probably belong to those people who have a lot of plans and little time. Well, you are absolutely right: improving your time management skills will help. This was once my problem, as well. I have attended a dozen of seminars and read at least a hundred articles on time management. In fact, all of them boil down to few very useful tips. Read on and develop new habits and skills.
How to Achieve Your Goals with Proper Time Management
Create Lists and Use Them
Every effective time-management system is based on lists, so you just have to make use of them. You cannot and do not have to carry all that information in your head being under constant fear of forgetting about some important meeting, call, e-mail, etc. I use the following lists and find them particularly convenient:
- Everyday schedule: a list of things I have to do during a day.
- To-do list: I organize them by weeks and months.
- People to call: this one’s pretty obvious.
- Meetings to attend: here, I jot down not only the planned meetings, conferences, and so on but also questions I have to ask, things to bring with me, etc.
Keep the Number of Meetings Minimal
To tell you the truth, I hate meetings because nothing is ever done there. This is a good place to go if you want to hide or present a speech and show how important you are. If you want to really use your time wisely and do what needs to be done, avoid meetings.
Schedule Working Hours
In most cases, people only focus on appointments with other people. I think that according to the intelligent planning, your work appointments should be a number-one priority. I try to pre-assign most of my time in advance. I allocate time to important phone calls, coaching meetings, preparing newsletters, and writing my book at least a month ahead because the less free time you have, the lower the chances of wasting it. If you open your calendar and see that most of your time is devoted to high-value tasks, you will easily say ‘no’ to unimportant meetings.
Use “Odd” Time Effectively
Take advantage of modern gadgets. Now, we have e-books, iPads, iPods, and so on. With these portable devices, you have no excuse for wasting your time while waiting in the airport or being stuck in traffic. You can use this time for something other than watching funny YouTube videos or listening to the radio. Instead, you can finally make that returning phone call or reply to that message. Use your time wisely.
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