Organize Your Day Well
- Monday, July 06, 2009
Don’t let perfectionism delay you. Commit to getting each task done by a certain time and quitting at that time rather than fretting that your work isn’t good enough and trying to redo or improve it. Don’t allow yourself to do more than you decided to do when you first took on the task. Work toward a deadline instead of toward perfection. Remember that only God is perfect.
Overcome procrastination. Write down a specific time to complete each project, so you’ll be more determined to do the work on time than you would be otherwise. Start by doing a part of the job that you enjoy, so you’ll be more likely to start than if you began with an unpleasant part of it. Ask a friend or colleague to hold you accountable to accomplish what you hope to get done. Do a little bit of work at a time, and gradually the task will begin to dwindle until it’s all done. When you complete each project, give yourself a reward, such as lunch out with a friend or a special item for your house.
Manage your projects well. Use whatever system works best for you to organize your projects: time lines, outlines, mind mapping diagrams, flow charts, etc. Write down your goal for each project. Mention the points you plan to cover, as well as what you won’t cover. Break overwhelming tasks into small steps that are more manageable and go through the work gradually. Schedule time for each phase of a project: defining, planning, execution, and completion. If a project gets off track, readjust your plans before continuing. Celebrate each time you finish a project.
Use “to-do” lists. Create both a master to-do list and a daily or weekly one, grouping the tasks by activity types. Prioritize the activities and do the most important ones first. Schedule about 15 minutes each day to tackle some of the tasks you’ve listed, to ensure that you at least get stared every day and can continue if you have more time.
Delegate tasks to others. When possible, enlist the help of others to get pressing work done. Explain your objective clearly for each tasks, answer questions, and train people how to proceed when necessary. Set reasonable deadlines with the people who will be helping you and let them approach tasks innovatively if their own ideas look promising. Check in periodically with people while they’re working on tasks; give encouragement and help as needed. Be sure to thank people for their help and reward them for doing a good job.
Manage interruptions well. Don’t let interruptions (like unexpected visitors and phone calls during a busy time) rob you of valuable time to focus on projects you’ve planned to get done. Try to find a secluded place to work, and let people know when you’ll be unavailable.
Take charge of time wasters. Pay attention to what activities are stealing time from your day, both on the job (like reading unimportant material, attending unproductive meetings, or looking for misplaced papers or items) and at home (like watching too much television, surfing the Internet too long, or carrying on unnecessary phone conversations). Plan proactively to avoid activities that have wasted your time in the past. Schedule time cushions into each day to deal with time wasters that you can’t avoid, like sitting in a traffic jam.
Schedule routine tasks. Remind yourself of tasks you must routinely by listing them all and planning to do them at consistent times to get the most important ones done.
Use a planner every day. Choose whatever type of planner works best for you – such as a calendar, personal digital assistant, or day planner – and use it to remind yourself each day or what you need to do, in what order, and at what time. Reward yourself with some time out to do something personally enjoyable each day, as well.
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