Finding out what works for you

“Once you admit to yourself that you can’t manage time and that you can only manage yourself, and you accept that there is more to do than you can ever possibly do, a new strategy emerges: prioritizing.”
Rory Vaden

The strategies for managing your time range from basic to extreme. Some people find the Getting Things Done system too extreme for them. We need to find out what really works for us.

Do you need small tweaks to your system?
Or do you need a major overhaul?
Does your system need to be technology based?

Fits your style

A friend of mine is a realtor and doesn’t like to use too much technology. For her, she still uses a paper organizer. It works for her and her style. On the other side is my friend Danny who has everything on his phone.

Does your system fit your style? Click To Tweet

As you consider your time management system think about your style. Your personality plays a part in this too. If you like details and planning then the level of detail in the Getting Things Done system may work for you. If you don’t like all the structure that might frustrate you.

Simplicity

Along those lines, if like things simple your time management system needs to match that as well. As you review these suggestions consider each small change and if it fits you. Do you see this as something you can stick with? If not chances are you know yourself better than some of the experts.

Bookend your day

Try to develop a system you can review as part of your daily routines. So if in the morning you can check your time management system and quickly know what needs to be done that is successful. Also if you can check back in the evening to ensure you have completed your tasks and are ready for tomorrow that is also very helpful. Does your current system pass this test? What changes can you make to make it work better?

Habits

Our life is made up of many small habits. If we find habits that make our time management easier we need to reinforce them. In Charles Duhigg’s The Power Of Habit he shares with us how each habit has three parts. There is the cue that triggers our action, a routine that we will execute, and lastly a reward for the habit. Remember this as you plan your day and strive to maintain your schedule.

Focus

As we plan our lives we need to determine what our focus is. We can’t focus on getting everything done we need to focus on getting the right things done. Covey makes this clear when he talks about the pitcher of water. We need to put our big rocks in first and then fit the smaller things around that.

Technology

As a technology professional, I can lean on technology too much. As we explore tools that can help us stay on track for the weeks and months make sure the technology serves us. We don’t want to be serving the technology. Just because something is new and neat doesn’t me we should use it.

Experiment

Take time to experiment with new things and ideas. You may find pieces of some of these systems work for you. Other techniques and processes may cause you more angst than benefit. Life is a big experiment, keep trying to change it up!

Procrastinate

One other book on time management that I have really enjoyed is from Rory Vaden. His first book Take the Stairs was good so I took a look at Procrastinate on Purpose. In it, he shares some great points for us as we set our schedule.

Should I even be doing this? #TimeSaver Click To Tweet

Rory shares his focus funnel. We need to use this funnel for any possible activity. First off we need to think if we should even do this or should we Eliminate it. Next if wee need to do it can we Automate it? Is is something we could Delegate? Does it need to be done now or could we Procrastinate? And the last part of the focus funnel is if we must to it we should concentrate on it.

What have you been focusing on?

Think of an experiment you can try.

What is one thing you could eliminate?

Bonus Tip

In honor of my friend Kent Julian, who loves to give bonuses, I have a bonus tip for you! He shared with me the idea of Periodization. This is where we can focus on something for a short period of time and make massive gains in our life. This idea comes from the book the 12 Week year.

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