“No task is a long one but the task on which one dare not start. It becomes a nightmare.”
Charles Baudelaire (1821 – 1867)
After a brief pause from ceaseless procrastination, I immediately grabbed the jelly-like keys of my computer and started pounding the keys. I should be prioritizing the project proposal my school head asked me to submit within two days… instead, I played Plants Vs Zombies all night long and got irked whenever the cute looking creatures managed to intrude the house I am supposed to guard after most, if not all, of my plants have been munched by these voracious herbivorous monsters. I was indeed silly being hooked on this trivial game. Such a squander of time! But I enjoyed (at first).
While on the internet trying to have a grasp of what’s new on the DepEd website while reading, deleting [and sometimes spending time to reply on some] e-mails at Yahoo, and checking the latest announcements in Facebook, Farmville fritters my interest . Thanks God I almost quit clicking on FFS after trying to purchase and buying back friends or even asking them to buy me… I never get rich in the first place.
Whenever I feel like to clean out my paper mess, I always end up doing only the first part and achieved no favorable outcome. The mess remains. I became more stressed.
Peeved on this cycle of procrastination, I’m thankful to browse an entry in EcoWellness [at Multiply] on time management. Here is the post:
15 Time Management Tips
Here are 15 practical time management tips to help you get started…
1. Write things down:
A common time management mistake is to try to use your memory to keep track of too many details leading to information overload. Using a to-do list to write things down is a great way to take control of your projects and tasks and keep yourself organized.
My dear Mama Badang always reminds me of parish schedules. A text or a brief call serves just perfectly. I don’t write a lot because I ended up disposing off the sheet on the trash bin. So, instead of writing things down, I avail of the ‘reminder’ feature of my cp to prompt me up about a certain task or event.
2. Prioritize your list:
Prioritizing your to-do list helps you focus and spend more of your time on the things that really matter to you. Rate your tasks into categories using the ABCD prioritization system.
First things first! Chunking backlogs according to their urgency helps us save time and energy. Why give a spotlight on trivial stuff when you have things waiting to be done in the A-list?
3. Plan your week:
Spend some time at the beginning of each week to plan your schedule. Taking the extra time to do this will help increase your productivity and balance your important long-term projects with your more urgent tasks. All you need is fifteen to thirty minutes each week for your planning session.
Personally, I find Saturdays as the best time for this. While I usually spent my Saturday morning minding my greens, my afternoon is spared for reading, resting, meditating and planning (and even daydreaming!). My week starts on Sunday.
4. Carry a notebook:
You never know when you are going to have a great idea or brilliant insight. Carry a small notebook with you wherever you go so you can capture your thoughts. If you wait too long to write them down you could forget. Another option is to use a digital recorder.
My cell phone is an efficient multipurpose buddy. It serves just right whenever I wanted to take note of the homilies or/and interesting lectures. The recorder perfectly documents all.
5. Learn to say no:
Many people become overloaded with too much work because they overcommit; they say yes when they really should be saying no. Learn to say no to low priority requests and you will free up time to spend on things that are more important.
There is always a perfect time for everything. Whenever people asked me to do even simple things for them, I try to say ‘no’. Committing to other’s requests for consideration purposes usually sidetracked my day’s agenda. I only commit whenever I am sure that I’m available.
6. Think before acting:
How many times have you said yes to something you later regretted? Before committing to a new task, stop to think about it before you give your answer. This will prevent you from taking on too much work.
I rather stay home and read with my headset playing my fave playlist than squander around with people I am not so happy to be with or carry out tasks I found no significance.
7. Continuously improve yourself:
Make time in your schedule to learn new things and develop your natural talents and abilities. For example, you could take a class, attend a training program, or read a book. Continuously improving your knowledge and skills increases your marketability, can help boost your career, and is the most reliable path to financial independence.
Reading books and posts of great authors and bloggers help me discover new things and ideas. Good thing I am subscribed to WordPress where a vast conglomeration of bloggers offers sundry of information from simple whatnots to very significant concepts.
I am learning every time I browse the web. Thus, I make sure that in my weekly sched, apart from updating my Facebook, Twitter, Multiply and Friendster accounts and checking my e-mails at Yahoo, I do spend time in visiting sites that offer great deal of information.
8. Think about what you are giving up to do your regular activities:
It is a good idea to evaluate regularly how you are spending your time. In some cases, the best thing you can do is to stop doing an activity that is no longer serving you so you can spend the time doing something more valuable. Consider what you are giving up in order to maintain your current activities.
Instead of going to the city for a brisk diversion or minding my greens (which no longer bear flowers), I decided it’s time to make use of my weekends for a more relevant matter. Thus, I enrolled in a postgraduate studies for personal and professional advantage.
9. Use a time management system:
Using a time management system can help you keep track of everything that you need to do, organize and prioritize your work, and develop sound plans to complete it. An integrated system is like glue that holds all the best time management practices together.
With all the things to be done and deadlines to be met plus the extra-tasks that require time and effort, a sound time management system can help one maintain his sanity.
10. Identify bad habits:
Make a list of bad habits that are stealing your time, sabotaging your goals, and blocking your success. After you do, work on them one at a time and systematically eliminate them from your life. Remember that the easiest way to eliminate a bad habit, it to replace it with a better habit.
This tip applies to me. I haven’t started listing my time distracters yet, neither I have the gumption to eradicate them for there is just plenty [from TV shows, internet, to cp stuff, etc], but I’ll surely try.
11. Don’t do other people’s work:
Are you in the habit of doing other people’s work because or a ‘hero’ mentality? Doing this takes up time that you may not have. Instead, focus on your own projects and goals, learn to delegate effectively, and teach others how to do their own work.
Very true! My students used to ask me to translate local terms to English. Instead of complying with their requests, I direct them to consult to the dictionary in the shelf. I am spared from giving one translation to another. My little brother who used to ask me to help him answering his homework just sought my permission to operate the desktop and headed to Microsoft Encarta this time.
12. Keep a goal journal:
Schedule time to set and evaluate your goals. Start a journal and write down your progress for each goal. Go through your goal journal each week to make sure you are on the right track.
Keeping a journal on your computer has never been easier!
Keeping a journal surely helps one monitor his progress. I have one and am dismayed to realize I’m not doing very well. I should keep track on my activities. (maybe tomorrow, lol)
13. Don’t be a perfectionist:
Some tasks don’t require your best effort. Sending a short email to a colleague, for example, shouldn’t take any more than a few minutes. Learn to distinguish between tasks that deserve to be done excellently and tasks that just need to be done.
I am prone to come up with a very detailed LP just like the days I had my practice teaching. As a result, lesson planning becomes an obligatory burden on my part and updating seems to be intricately demanding. I have always believed in the importance of LP as an educational facilitator’s blueprint but preparing it in the most detailed way I can hastens my retirement. [I have to spend short sleeping hours just to come up with five preparations daily.]
14. Beware of “filler” tasks:
When you have a to-do list filled with important tasks, be careful not to get distracted by “filler” tasks. Things such as organizing your bookcase or filing papers can wait until you tackle the items that have the highest priority.
Filler tasks usually ruin my day’s sched. Accustomed to divert from prioritizing stuff in the A-list to minding trivial errands such as filing papers and reorganizing piles of documents, I ended having accomplished no relevant concern.
15. Avoid efficiency traps:
Being efficient doesn’t necessarily mean that you are being productive. Avoid taking on tasks that you can do with efficiency that don’t need to be done at all. Just because you are busy and getting things done doesn’t mean you are actually accomplishing anything significant.
Ample preparation time is the key to a successful activity. On the same hand, cramming doesn’t yield best results.
Tempus fugit! Time flies! Make the most of it!