The next time you add an item to your to-do list, place it in the appropriate quadrant. You’re creating a prioritized list.
Remember, if you don’t manage your time, it will manage you. Peter Drucker powerfully states, “Until we can manage time, we can manage nothing else.”
Remember “High Noon.” Once you list all of your tasks, determine to complete your top priorities by noon. Deadlines create urgency. Do the dirty work first. Procrastinating drains your energy and distracts your mind. If there’s a task you dread doing, take a tip from Nike and “Just do it.” I guarantee you’ll notice that the things you’ve been putting off don’t take as long as you expected. An added benefit: accomplishing a task creates energy that helps you get more done.
Use the “just start” rule. Think of a long-term goal and set aside 15 minutes a day to work on accomplishing it. Just start it. You may end up working longer than 15 minutes, but even a short amount of time represents progress. As Henry Ford said, “Nothing is particularly hard if you divide it into small jobs.”
Make prioritized check lists. Here’s a tip on managing your growing to do list: Quickly organize and prioritize a list by dividing your paper into four quadrants. Write everything that must be done today in the upper left quadrant (Priority #1). In the upper right quadrant write items that should be done today (Priority #2). In the lower left write items that should be done soon (Priority #3). In the lower right quadrant list the lowest priority items (Priority #4).
Accountability works for me. Perhaps an accountability partner will help you enhance your time management skills. I recommend it.