10 Things Time Mgmt
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  • 1. Take control of your day with these Version 1.0 10 time management strategies Sept. 25, 2007 These pointers are based on an article by Tom Mochal, which you can see here. Have you ever started the day with great ambitions and then realized at the end that you didn't get anything done? Honing your time management skills can help. Here's a list of ten techniques that will help you achieve a higher degree of control over what you accomplish in a day. 1 Create a list of things to do each morning If you don't keep track of what you want to accomplish, you're not going to have a chance for effective time management. Create a to-do list at the beginning of each day or at the end of the prior day. The list can include business and personal items and can be put on paper, your workstation, a PDA, etc. Refer to the list several times during the day. For example, if you have 10 minutes before a meeting, glance at your list. There might be an e-mail you wanted to send that would only take 10 minutes. When you complete each item, check it off. 2 Write down all follow-up items on your list Have you ever wondered why people tell you they'll do something and then don’t follow through? It's because they don't write it down. To keep track of new things that come up during the day, place them on your daily list. If your list is full and the activity can be completed tomorrow (or the next day), place it on your list for a day or two out. 3 Carry forward unfinished work and follow up What do you do with the things you haven't completed at the end of the day? You carry them forward and add them to your list for tomorrow. But don't be a procrastinator. You don't want to carry an expanding list of activities from day to day to day. If the activity is important, get it done. If it's not important, follow up with the person who's expecting something from you and explain that the work hasn't been completed. 4 Keep track of due dates Use your list to keep track of when tasks need to be finished. This includes commitments to work colleagues and friends. If you're not sure when an activity needs to be completed, find out, write it down, and then use time management skills to make sure the work is done on time. If you can't meet the commitment, communicate that in a timely manner. 5 Create a list of priorities for this month and next Many people make lists for today. But how many make high-level lists of the things they need to do this month and next? Unless you have a transactional job where your timeframes are always short-term, you need to stop at the beginning of each month and determine what you want to accomplish. These lists are obviously at a high level, but they'll keep you focused on what you want to accomplish. As the month progresses, start building your list for the following month. Page 1 Copyright ©2007 CNET Networks, Inc. All rights reserved. For more downloads and a free TechRepublic membership, please visit http://techrepublic.com.com/2001-6240-0.html
  • 2. Take control of your day with these 10 time management strategies 6 Keep track of longer-term reminders Your to-do list isn't going to help you with follow-ups you'll need to remember in the distant future. For instance, you may tell a colleague that you'll follow up with him to check progress in two months. You need to have a way to keep track of this follow-up and to remind yourself two months in the future. Most online calendars have features for reminders. You may even want to create several reminders over multiple days, so that if you miss one, you'll catch it the next day. 7 Keep a clean desk People who have cluttered offices or cubicles usually aren't very good time organizers. You just can't effectively manage your time if you spend a lot of it looking for stuff in a cluttered work environment. 8 Keep all of your current work in one area You may work on many separate activities and initiatives simultaneously. Keep items you need for these projects organized and accessible. For instance, you might keep all current contracts, project plans, and files for an ongoing volunteer effort in a easy-to-reach file drawer (not scattered between your office, your car, and your desk at home). When you finish a project or initiative, move the folder elsewhere (see tip 9). 9 Purge files and documents you no longer need Here's one that might startle you. Keep all your papers from completed work initiatives in one file drawer. Add new work folders to the front of the drawer, and when the drawer gets full, throw out files from the back end. In other words, never keep more files than can fit in one drawer. Contrast that to your system of keeping endless years of paperwork that no one cares about anymore and no one will ever care about again. Of course, I'm not talking about users' manuals or reference material that you need. I’m talking about the work files you accumulate. 10 Back up online files and purge Periodically back up your online files to CD (or disk) and then go through and quickly delete all the older junk you don't need anymore. It's likely that as much as 95 percent of what you have online in your work files has a shelf life of three months or less. Page 2 Copyright ©2007 CNET Networks, Inc. All rights reserved. For more downloads and a free TechRepublic membership, please visit http://techrepublic.com.com/2001-6240-0.html
  • 3. Take control of your day with these 10 time management strategies Additional resources • TechRepublic's Downloads RSS Feed • Sign up for TechRepublic's Downloads Weekly Update newsletter • Sign up for our IT Career NetNote • Check out all of TechRepublic's free newsletters • Master these 10 processes to sharpen your project management skills • Eleven qualities of successful IT managers • 10 essential competencies for IT pros Version history Version: 1.0 Published: September 25, 2007 Tell us what you think TechRepublic downloads are designed to help you get your job done as painlessly and effectively as possible. Because we're continually looking for ways to improve the usefulness of these tools, we need your feedback. Please take a minute to drop us a line and tell us how well this download worked for you and offer your suggestions for improvement. Thanks! —The TechRepublic Downloads Team Page 3 Copyright ©2007 CNET Networks, Inc. All rights reserved. For more downloads and a free TechRepublic membership, please visit http://techrepublic.com.com/2001-6240-0.html