I am an AVID reader of time management books and am constantly learning and researching new time management methods. Ever since I was 11 years old, I have studied this subject. I was home-schooled from 6th grade through high-school. My mother passed away when I was 12 years old but was sick a lot of my childhood. In order to help out with the upkeep up my household, I was home-schooled. So, at a very young age, I had to learn how to manage a household, take care of myself, and get through school. Needless to say I learned to be VERY disciplined and it was through the study of time management that I learned the necessary skills to get through that time of my life. My now 30 years of study of this subject has taught me a lot! Today's post is all about what I know about time management and then I will create several related posts on this topic as part of a series.
From day-planners, to do it tomorrow apps, there are literally dozens of time management tools, apps, and software to help you go from chaos to organized. But, many of my colleagues and friends still report that they find it hard to manage their daily tasks, and truly stay organized AND have enough time left in their day to do everything they wanted to do.
Over the years I've studied several of the most popular time management and task management systems and I've learned that NO system is perfect. We each have our own way of getting motivated, staying focused, feeling energized, and feeling accomplished. And that my friends are the things we NEED in order to move through our days feeling successful.
Let's look at these areas a bit closer.
1. The time management system you choose needs to help you feel motivated. Is it the color, is it the layout, is it simplicity? What sorts of things motivate you to get things done? Make a list and then seek out a system that fits this.
2. Choose a routine that helps you stay focused. My list needs to be in front of me all of the time. If this is the case for you choose something that you print and keep in front of you. Or choose a planner that fits neatly on your desk along with all the other stuff you need to have out to get your tasks accomplished. What helps you stay focused on your tasks. Again, write it down and get clear about this.
3. Feeling energized while you work is key. If you feel down, slumpy, your head is foggy, you won't get things done. Instead you'll watch YouTube videos on how to stop procrastinating and never get any actual work done. So, first off, check your posture. If you are slumped down in your chair, sit up straight and take a few deep breaths. Head is foggy, get some fresh air and cold glass of water. Do what you need to do to stay energized so that you have the stamina to get through your work.
4. Feeling accomplished is so important! If you don't feel like you are accomplishing anything you will give up. Here is the key to feeling accomplished. Get some things done...anything. Even the smallest things, if you can start crossing those things off of your list and start building momentum, you will start to feel accomplished. So, don't worry about prioritizing your list, or creating a top 3, and ditch the MUST DO list. As soon you don't do something on your MUST DO list, you set yourself up for big disappointment. So, do the easiest things first and get in a state of accomplishment...you'll start to feel like anything can accomplished!
You probably realize by now that the time management system is not just a software for tracking and managing time, it involves much more, but the aspects it involves are things you have total control over. It has a lot to do with what motivates and moves you, what excites you and energizes you. It's about creating momentum to act as leverage to help you make greater gains in your day, your month and your life. It is your routine for living the life of your dreams and creating impact in this world.
Now I want to hear from you! What is your time management system and does it help you live out the life of your dreams and help you make impact in this world? Leave a comment for me, I'd LOVE to know.