1. Make it a routine
Routines are an essential part of any time management plan because when something is routine you don’t have to think about it. Even if life and work throws huge curve balls at you, keeping at least some small part the same each day helps you feel more in control. If at all possible, try to make these routines in the morning. Get up at the same time. Exercise, eat breakfast, whatever it is you do in the morning, make it a habit. When you start the day in control it’s easier to keep that feeling of control longer.
2. Do small pieces of a large task every day
I have an author friend who says she writes 5 pages a day no matter what. Writing a book is a huge task. But 5 pages a day? That’s not too bad. Stop thinking about your huge task, and break it up into smaller bits. Worrying and procrastinating take up a lot of brain hard drive space you could use for other things.
3. Use external cues and reminders
Some people don’t write things down because they’ll “just remember.” Everybody remembers until they forget! Even if you could somehow remember everything you need to do, that processing power is far better used on other things. Don’t waste memory space on reminders. Set an alarm. Write it in your calendar. Leave a note on a white board. Wherever you choose to keep track of deadlines and to-dos, make sure it’s in one location. If you have to use mental capacity remembering WHERE you wrote your reminder, it defeats the purpose of using reminders.
We can’t trade our brain computer in for a bigger more powerful model, so we need to work hard with our time management skills to keep the one we have in good shape.
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