Only a few men live to old age, & fewer still become successful who are not early risers.
ORGANIZE MEETINGS BY E-MAIL
The average time it takes to arrange a meeting by phone is ten minutes compared to three minutes by e-mail.
THE PAUSE THAT REFOCUSES
I read that a pigeon’s eyes can’t focus as it moves, accounting for it’s strange walk. The bird has to pause between steps In order to refocus. It reminds me that we should frequently pause to refocus as well. If we proceed at a frantic pace without pausing, we could easily lose sight of our mission. Periodically review your goals & make sure your motion is moving you towards your mission.
PUT A STOP TO POP-UPS
It takes time to close those ads that pop-up unannounced when you’re connected to the Internet. If you have that problem, you might consider downloading the free Pop-up Stopper software from www.download.com.
COLLEGE STUDENTS PRONE TO PROCRASTINATION
70 percent of college students report problems with overdue papers & delayed studying.
Your computer is great at multitasking. You can write articles while performing downloads or scan for viruses as you send e-mail. But your brain is not programmed that way. So beware of trying to do two things at once, especially if they are complex or require your undivided attention. Studies indicate a drop in efficiency between 30 percent & 50 percent on the individual tasks performed while multitasking.
DO IT NOW
It’s more important to do something than to do it well. Never delay something that could cause problems later simply because you’re not good at it. You learn by doing, not by delaying.
FINISH WHAT YOU START
There’s a limit to how many projects you can juggle at the same time. Don’t start another project if the incomplete ones are already consuming most of your time. Getting the Best of Yourself, when you begin multiple projects, you usually end up with multiple incompletions.
WHEN IDEAS DON’T WORK
If you make changes only to find that you slip back into your original time wasting habits, it could be that you have not bought into the idea. Changing your behavior without changing your mind seldom results in permanent behavior change.
Ineffectiveness: Doing perfectly that which is unnecessary.
If you use your car dashboard to house sunglasses, cell phone or wallet while driving, you could be wasting time retrieving the items from the floor or under the seat after the trip. You can stop these items from sliding every time you turn a corner or come to a sudden stop by applying the new Sticky Pad. Sticky Pad is only a few inches in diameter, conforms to any dashboard, is removable, washable, reusable, & believe it or not, works!
BE IN THE MOMENT
Our mind is always working in the future or the past & that we should slow down & dwell on the present as it happens. Otherwise we will miss much of what life has to offer.
RECOGNIZE THAT YOU CAN’T DO EVERYTHING
Your in-basket, voice mailbox & e-mail in-box will all be full of unanswered items the day you die. So don’t try to do more things, simply do more important things. Pursue the meaningful goals that you have identified, scheduled & acted upon & let those trivial things fall through the cracks. Strive for significance over speed & quality over quantity.
TRIM YOUR TO DO LIST
There is a big difference between things that should be done & things that must be done. For example, we should clean out the junk drawer, shop for a new car & have dinner with the Smiths. But what are the consequences of doing none of these things? Probably very little. Be ruthless when deciding what should be done. There isn’t time for everything.
TAKE TIME TO LISTEN
There is no greater way of displaying kindness & respect than listening attentively to what people have to say. Someone once placed an ad in a mid-western state’s newspaper to the effect that they would listen to anyone for twenty minutes without interrupting for five dollars (this was before inflation.) They were deluged with phone calls.
If we do not change our direction, we are likely to end up where we are headed.
When someone calls for an appointment, try to settle the matter right there on the telephone. In most cases a meeting isn’t necessary.
GET ORGANIZED FIRST
By organizing your work area & yourself first, you will free up time for the more important time management strategies such as planning, delegation & the application of technology.
PRIORITIZE YOUR INCOMING E-MAIL
One manager maintains two e-mail addresses, one for important people & one for everyone else. Of course, everyone is important; but perhaps you can have one address that you only issue to key contacts.
GETTING THINGS DONE
If there are a few important things on your To Do list that you never get around to doing, schedule specific blocks of time in your planner to work on them.
PAPER TIGER SOFTWARE
Visit www.thepapertiger.com & take the tour or watch the audiovisual presentation to find out how the Paper Tiger software program can make it easy to retrieve hardcopy records.
MULTITASKING IS UNHEALTHY
Not only does multitasking decrease efficiency, but according to an article in the Toronto Star (Multitasking Exacts Heavy Toll, November 28, 2003) it also compromises memory, causes back pain & can make workers more susceptible to flu & indigestion.
SCREENSAVER WITH A PURPOSE
Download the free corkboard screensaver from http://www.mycorkboard.com & convert it into a useful time management tool. It’s an electronic corkboard where you can tack reminders, to do lists, phone numbers, information, photos or your favorite inspirational quotes. It even has a digital clock as well as one with a sweep second hand. You can set alarms to remind you to make telephone calls at specific times or warn you that the roast is ready to be taken out of the oven. You can move items around, change their shape, size & color, duplicate them, delete them, modify them & even change the look of the corkboard itself. You can make lists for every day of the week & stack them on top of one another, deleting the current one upon completion. You can stack photos like a deck of cards or arrange them like an art gallery. You can delete the calendar or clock or anything else you don’t need. With all the stock items available to mount, move & manipulate. My Corkboard can be an amusement park for kids as well as an information organizer for creative people.
ORGANIZE YOUR WORKING AREA
Paulette Ensign ( http://www.tipsbooklets.com ) suggests that you move desktop items an inch or two closer to you for greatest ease & use. She claims that sometimes a minor adjustment can make a major difference in the effectiveness of the products & your productivity.
KNOW YOUR PRIORITIES & NO OTHER’S
Most of the urgent items that you are working on are other people’s priorities. To avoid the tyranny of the urgent & the stress that accompanies it, say no more often.
LEAVE YOUR JOB BEHIND
25% to 40% of vacationers spent some vacation time working. Your job doesn’t need a vacation, you do, so don’t take your job with you.
KEEP MEETINGS BRIEF
E-mail informational reports & announcements in advance so you can devote the meeting to agenda topics.
HAVE DAILY GOALS
Before the end of each day you should know what it is you want to accomplish the next day.
TIME MANAGEMENT IS A TEAM SPORT
Respect other people’s time. Interrupt less, accumulate questions, hold fewer meetings, keep e-mail brief & don’t try to save time at the expense of your team members.
SEND FEWER E-MAILS
45% of the e-mails they received during a one-week period as being either low or non relevant.
PROTECT YOUR LUNCH BREAK
American workers, if they take a lunch break at all, do so for an average of only 15 to 36 minutes. Work continues to crowd out personal time.
SAYING NO BY DEFAULT
You can avoid the unpleasant task of saying no if you have already said yes to the priorities. Schedule the important tasks in your planner & you will be saying no by default.
FOCUS ON IMPORTANCE, NOT URGENCY
Keep reminding yourself of the advice given by many time management authors: “The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.”
REDUCE COMMUTE TIME
As the number of cars on the road increases, time spent commuting increases. Consider rapid transit, go-trains, carpools, telecommuting or even a move closer to work in order to reduce this time. But if you drive, don’t work – while you’re driving, that is.
REACHING A BUSY PERSON
If you suspect that someone will not return your call, try leaving a voice mail message that you’ll call again later at a specific time. The more specific the better.
Set a deadline for time spent on each agenda item & assign a timekeeper to warn the group when the time is almost up.
MOBILE STORAGE DISK
More convenient than floppies & CDs, these storage sticks will fit on a key ring & transfer files from your office computer to laptop via a USB port. I have one that holds 128 MB but there are ones up to 1 gigabyte or more. They are great for traveling & taking files home with you.
You leave some space after your e-mail message to distance it from any technical verbiage that is added after transmission.
WARNING TO ENTREPRENEURS
Entrepreneurs work a longer workweek on average (54 hours) than do executives in large corporations (50 hours.)