Effective time management can have a profound effect on your life. It helps to reduce stress, increase productivity, and cures procrastination. The Pareto Principle, named after Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto, refers to the 80:20 rule. This is that 80% of unscheduled time, yields 20% results.
Incorporating these 5 tips will help greatly improve your efficiency and results:
1) Set goals.
These goals should be S.M.A.R.T.
▪ S Specific
▪ M Measurable
▪ A Attainable
▪ R Relevant
▪ T Time-bound
They should be positive statements. For instance, instead of saying, “I need to stop being negative,” say, “I am going to be more positive.” They should be realistic and small. It is much easier to make baby steps than to run a mile. One of my personal goals is to write 5 articles for Associated Content a day. This goal fits into the S.M.A.R.T. paradigm perfectly. Its specific, write articles for AC. Its measurable, 5 articles. It’s attainable, I am doing it right now. It’s relevant, I am improving my writing skills. And it is time bound, 5 in a day.
2) Focus on short term goals.
Long term goals are great. Unfortunately, it also takes a long time to see results. Short term goals allow you to measure your progress. A long term goal of owning a house can be broken down into multiple short term steps:
▪ Improve credit rating.
▪ Save the down payment.
▪ Secure financing.
▪ Decide on a location.
▪ Find a real estate agent.
A good way to break down your goals is to use a mind map. A great free program for mind mapping is Freemind.
3) Schedule your time.
This is an important skill to have in all walks of life. Some people use giant calendars on their
desk. Others use day planners. The important thing is all the tasks for the day are prioritized for
peak efficiency. Try to place the most difficult tasks during your most productive time of day. Some people do the entire week in advance. Others write down their tasks the night before. It does not matter what your style is as long as you do it.
4) Eat well during the day.
Staying well fed helps your focus. If your thinking about eating your not thinking about the task at hand.
5) Stop watching CSI.
It’s the biggest waste of time. There’s nothing new and the plots have been recycled over and over. Identify the most innocent actor in the story and you have found your murderer. The end.