Personal & Time Management: Free MBA Report

time management

                                Time Management

 

Table of Contents

 

TopicPage No.
Introduction2
Time Management4
Time Management Plan11
Motivation & Goal Setting Worksheet14
Planning Study Time15
Study Tactics Checklist17
Time Management for Unmanageable People19
Procrastination23


INTRODUCTION

Whenever we meet someone with a special flair of getting things done, we make a point of asking, “ How do you do it?”. the answers usually are “ I manage my time well, the rest is done itself.” The one thing that’s probably most responsible for the continued success of any task is time management. Time is, in a way, the common ingredient of all actions, all thoughts, and all feelings. Proper management of time and good planning has been the secret of success of almost all great men of any era. According to a Greek philosopher, “Time is the most valuable thing a man can spend.”

 

Time management can help one in a number of ways :

 

  1. It can determine the success of our career
  2. It can also affect our personal lives
  3. It affects our health

 

According to what I have studied in our Personal management course, the first and the foremost thing to spot in our approach to self management is to identify the particular problem that we are facing. The next step is to set a goal that we have to achieve within a time frame, this goal naturally being one that is a step by step solution to our problem. Goals are divided into three levels namely,

 

  • macro goal
  • meso goal and
  • micro goal.

 

My macro goal in the self management project is to plan my on and off campus activities and schedule them properly so as to get the most of my efforts and achieve my objectives effectively. The major problem that I have identified in my approach to daily activities is that I am not able to do things that I want to do in that particular time and am not able to give time to my other interests.  Through this self management course of managing time I would like to plan my weekly activities at home as well as on campus so as to efficiently utilize time and achieve my goal.

The macro goal would be like a general target that I would like to attain, e.g. I want to manage my time so as to give sufficient time to all important activities and allocate time accordingly to other minor work .The micro goal could be like the specific areas that I would like to work upon in my project like maintaining diaries and time logs, or chalking out a weekly time table or keeping a planner with me. In between the two lies the meso goal which could be like the different steps that I would take in relation to the time frame and keeping a measure of the extent to which I achieve my goal.

 

Basically my time management project would revolve around the fundamental time management principles as put forward by experts and comprising of the following main points:

 

  • Keep a dairy or a time log to analyze my weekly activities. To see whether deadlines are met without a crisis and identify habits that keep me away from achieving goals
  • Clarify my objectives. List all important things that I plan to do. Learn to schedule.

List specific measurable objectives; both short and long term. Use a planning guide to   plan my time at least weekly. Schedule key events, projects and deadlines. Make tasks manageable by dividing large tasks into smaller parts. Complete one part at a time. Update the list twice a week, crossing off finished tasks and adding new ones.

3)   Assign priorities; prioritize the list of things to do according to importance.

Time Management

Time in the organization is constant and irreversible. Nothing can be substituted for time. Worse yet, once wasted, it can never be regained. Leaders have numerous demands on their limited time. Time keeps getting away and they have trouble controlling it. No matter what their position, they cannot stop time, they cannot slow it down, nor can they speed it up. Yet, time needs to be effectively managed to be effective.

 

On the other hand, you can become such a time fanatic convert by building time management spreadsheets, priority folders and lists, color coding tasks, and separating paperwork into priority piles; that you are now wasting more time by trying to manage it. Also, the time management technique can become so complex that you soon give up and return to your old time wasting methods.

 

What most people actually need to do is to analyze how they spend their time and implement a few time saving methods that will gain them the most time. The following are examples of some of the biggest time wasters:

 

  • Indecision – Think about it, worry about it, put it off, think about it, worry about it, etc.
  • Inefficiency – Jumping in and implementing instead analyzing and designing first.
  • Unanticipated interruptions that do not pay off.
  • Procrastination – Failing to get things done when they need to be done.
  • Unrealistic time estimates.
  • Unnecessary errors – You do not have enough time to do it right, but you have enough time to do it over?
  • Crisis management.
  • Poor organization.
  • Ineffective meetings
  • Micro-management.
  • Doing urgent rather than important tasks.
  • Poor planning and lack of contingency plans.
  • Failure to delegate or delegation of responsibility without authority.
  • Lack of priorities, standards, policies, and procedures.

 

The following are examples of time savers:

  • Manage the decision making process, not decisions.
  • Concentrate on doing only one task at a time.
  • Establish daily, short-term, mid-term, and long-term, priorities.
  • Handle correspondence expeditiously with quick, short letters and memos.
  • Throw unneeded things away.
  • Establish personal deadlines and ones for the organization.
  • Do not waste other people’s time.
  • Ensure all meetings have a purpose, have a time limit, and include only essential people.
  • Get rid of busywork.
  • Maintain accurate calendars; abide by them.
  • Know when to stop a task, policy, or procedure.
  • Delegate everything possible and empower subordinates.
  • Keep things simple.
  • Ensure time is set aside to accomplish high priority tasks.
  • Set aside time for reflection.
  • Use checklists and to do lists.
  • Adjust priorities as a result of new tasks.

 

Effective time management is crucial to accomplishing organization tasks as well as to avoiding wasting valuable organizational assets. The following nine rules from Managing Your Mind will aid you:

 

  • Get Started – This is one of the all time classic time wasters. Often, as much time is wasted avoiding a project, as actually accomplishing the project. A survey showed that the main difference between good students and average students was the ability to get down to work quickly.
  • Get into a routine – Mindless routine may curb your creativity, but when used properly, it can release time and energy. Choose a time to get certain task accomplished, such as answering email, working on a project, completing paper work; and then stick to it every day. Use a day planning calendar. There are a variety of formats on the market. Find one that fits your needs.
  • Do not say yes to too many things – Saying yes can lead to unexpected treasures, but the mistake we often make is to say yes to too many things. This causes us to live to the priorities of others rather then according to our own. Every time you agree to do something else, another thing will not get done. Learn how to say no.
  • Do not commit yourself to unimportant activities, no matter how far ahead they are – Even if a commitment is a year ahead, it is still a commitment. Often we agree to do something that is far ahead, when we would not normally do it if it was in the near future. No matter how far ahead it is, it will still take the same amount of your time.
  • Divide large tasks – Large tasks should be broken up in to a series of small tasks. By making small manageable tasks, you will eventually accomplish the large task. Also, by using a piecemeal approach, you will be able to fit it into your hectic schedule.
  • Do not put unneeded effort into a project – There is a place for perfectionism, but for most activities, there comes a stage when there is not much to be gained from putting extra effort into it. Save perfectionism for the tasks that need it.
  • Deal with it for once and for all – We often start a task, think about it, and then lay it aside. We will repeat this process over and over. Either deal with the task right away or decide when to deal with it and put it aside until then.
  • Set start and stop times – When arranging start times, also arrange stop times. This will call for some estimating, but your estimates will improve with practice. This will allow you and others to better schedule activities. Also, challenge the theory, “Work expands to fill the allotted time.” See if you can shave some time off your deadlines to make it more efficient.
  • Plan you activities – Schedule a regular time to plan your activities. If time management is important to you, then allow the time to plan it wisely.

 

The Big Picture

Keep the big picture of what you want to achieve in sight. Your check lists will have such items as: “staff meeting at 2:00” and “complete the Anderson Company memo” but, do you set quality time aside for the important tasks:

 

  • Develop a relationship with Sue who may be helpful to me in the long run.
  • Meet with all my workers on a regular basis. (It is your workers who will determine if you are a great leader, not you or your leaders!)
  • Study “you name the book” because in 5 years I want to be “you name where you want to be.”
  • Coach my employees on providing excellent customer service because that is where my vision is pointing to.
  • Set aside time for interruptions. For example, the 15 minute coffee break with Sam that leads to a great idea.

 

In other words, do not get caught up in short term demands. Get a real life! One quarter to one third of the items on your to do list need to contain the important long range items that will get you, your workers, and your organization to the best!

 

How many times have you said to yourself, your circle of business associates or friends, “There is just never enough time in the day.” An entrepreneur, especially one with a physical disability, must use Time Management Skills to succeed!

 

Time management is simply the process of identifying and concentrating on activities that are important to you, and identifying and eliminating activities that can be dropped.

 

Let me provide you with an example of how I use Time Management. Today I have a meeting with a nursing service. They are seeking my advice on how to gain a larger market share. On days with 9 a.m. appointments, I have to complete my morning routine before clients arrive. My experience has identified that using two attendants to get me bathed and dressed expedites the process. To use my attendants’ time to the maximum, I requested one to cut my hair for today’s meeting while the other folded newsletters for an upcoming trade show.

 

This is effective Time Management. Within two hours, I am prepared for my meeting, newsletters are ready for circulation, I communicated with several of my dealers/customers via the Internet, my lunch is prepared and my home is spotless. All this – before my 9 a.m. meeting!

 

For you to be successful, it is imperative that you increase the time in which you can work and control the distractions that waste your time and break your flow.
How much is your time worth?
First determine how much your business spends. In other words, how much does your business cost per year. Include payroll taxes, the cost of your office space, equipment and facilities you use, expenses, administrative (Attendant Care) support, etc.

 

To this figure add an estimate of the amount of profit you should generate by your activity. From these figures, calculate an hourly rate. This should give a reasonable estimate of how much your time is worth. This may be a surprisingly large amount!

 

Now that you know how much you and your time is worth, it should create a central shift in your attitude and focus. You will now be more interested in concentrating on results, not on being busy.

 

For example, most people spend their days in a frenzy of activity, but achieve very little because they are not concentrating on the right things.

This is neatly summed up in the Pareto Principle, or the 80/20 rule. This states that typically 80% of unfocussed effort generates only 20% of results, and that the remaining 80% of results are achieved with only 20% of focused effort. By applying time management, including planning, you should aim to concentrate as much of your effort as possible on the high payoff tasks. This ensures that you achieve the greatest payoff possible with your investment of time.
Why don’t people manage their time?
Despite the benefits of time management, many people do not use it because they don’t know about it or they are too lazy to plan or they enjoy the adrenaline buzz of meeting tight deadlines. Crisis Junkies!

 

The problem with crisis management and tight deadlines is that while they can be fun, often they can lead to high levels of stress, a disrupted private life, tiredness and, occasionally, to uncompleted projects.
Mind Tools Time Management
By evaluating your use of time and focusing on your priorities, plus planning for effective use of time, you will be able to use time more effectively, create more time and avoid distractions.

 

Successful entrepreneurs have an activity log or means of closely monitoring their activities. Learning to delegate responsibility, as I have illustrated with my previous example, is critical for success – especially for the sole proprietor with a disability!
Time Management Plan

Perhaps the best time management technique is the use of a Time Management Plan. A plan provides organization, and enables you to see what must be done and when. Many of us try to keep plans in our heads, but unfortunately, things are forgotten, or put off and simply not done. Since a Time Management Plan is written down, you can see where you have been and where you are going at a glance. A plan will give you a sense of accomplishment, organize your work, free up some of your time, and alleviate some stress.

The plan is simple. All it takes is some paper, a pencil, a calendar and a little time (which is well invested).

STEP ONE: List all your major tasks and goals for a particular time frame.

STEP TWO: Assign priority rankings to your tasks and goals. This may not be an easy step because sometimes we really need to do some “soul searching” to decide the most important items. Suggestion: Break your items into three categories – high, medium and low priorities. Then rate the items in each category from high to low.

STEP THREE: On your calendar, begin plugging in your most important items. Make sure your “completed-by” dates are realistic; don’t allow yourself too little or too much time to accomplish an item. Suggestion: For large or overwhelming tasks, try breaking them into smaller pieces or sub-tasks. Sometimes it is easier to do a lot of little things over time, than one large thing all at once.

STEP FOUR: Repeat the process with the medium priority items. Then take your list of low priority items and throw it away. They are items which probably didn’t need to be done in the first place, or ones that will “take care of themselves.”

STEP FIVE: Following your written plan with viable “completed-by” dates, you then start to work. Remember to do your highest priority items first (when possible). Guard yourself, because only YOU will know if you are cheating.

 

Time Frames

 

How far ahead do you plan? Well, it might be a good idea to do a series of plans with differing time frames. First, you might make a plan for your life. While this may be difficult, a life plan affords you a chance to be introspective about yourself, and over time, will give you a record of how you have changed.

For people in college, the first practical time frame might be your educational career. Lay out the courses you will be taking, and when you will take them. Remember to be realistic!

From here you may want to map out a semester. Take the course outlines you receive at the beginning of classes and plug in your reading assignments, papers, tests, and social recreation. Most assignments will be good examples of large tasks which should be broken into smaller sub-tasks. This Time Management Plan should be posted where you will see it daily.

Lastly, depending on how organized you want to be, you may want to make a Time Management Plan for each week, and from there for each day. Be careful not to over-plan. Vary your workload so that it does not become boring and regimented. Tasks will be easier to do that way.

The key to a good Time Management Plan is personal commitment. Since it is a plan that you alone have made, with your abilities, desires, and goals in mind, you should have no trouble following it. If you don’t feel a high degree of commitment, then you have probably not given an honest appraisal of yourself and your goals. Don’t worry though, sometimes many of us get confused about what we really want. In this case, it is perhaps a good idea to talk with someone, such as a counselor, who can be objective and help you clear away some of the confusion.

 

Tips On Expanding Your Time

 

  • Remember that clear decision-making drops off when we reach the outer limits of our energy.
  • Only set aside the time you need for a task – no more. If a task takes only 15 minutes, don’t allow an hour.
  • A few hours of concentrated work when you feel good will outweigh twice the time spent when you don’t.
  • Schedule your tasks at the times when you function best. Are you a “night person” or a “day person”?
  • Always allow some time for the unexpected. One unanticipated problem can cause others in an overly rigid schedule.
  • Schedule yourself some time for relaxation.
  • Don’t waste time regretting your failures or feeling guilty about things you didn’t do. Push ahead.
  • Watch your health. We function better if our bodies are in shape and we are well rested.

 

 

 

Motivation And Goal Setting Worksheet

 

  1. What are your life time goals?

_______________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________

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  1. What are your goals for the next three to five years?

_______________________________________________________________

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_______________________________________________________________

 

  1. What are your goals for this year?

_______________________________________________________________

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_______________________________________________________________

 

  1. What are the things you need to do in order to accomplish this year’s goals?

_______________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________

 

PLANNING STUDY TIME

Here are some hints for planning study time:

 

  1. Use daylight hours: research shows that 60 minutes of study during the day is the equivalent of 90 minutes of study at night (Pauk, Walter. How to Study in College, Second Edition.1989, p. 45).
  2. SURVEY required readings before lectures: skim over the title, headings, summary and figures before reading for detail. SURVEYING is a reading technique to be described in Module 3.
  3. Study soon after lecture type courses: retention and understanding are aided by a review of your lecture notes immediately after class: e.g., one study showed that students who wrote a 5-minute review test following a lecture remembered one and a half times as much material when tested 6 weeks later as students who did not review, when tested the next day (Pauk, 1989, p. 104).
  4. List and do tasks according to priorities: remember Parkinson’s law that “work expands to fill the time available for its completion.” If you allot 2 hours to read 10 pages, it’ll probably take you 2 hours to complete this 30 min. task.
  5. Start long jobs ahead of time: avoids cramming and the resultant poor quality (“If only I had more time…”).
  6. Be realistic: don’t plan study periods during the week if it is unlikely that you will follow through; thus, in the beginning, you may plan for only 2 or 3 study periods; if you are successful, then plan for 3 or 4 study periods the next week, etc., gradually increasing your commitment to study while always maximizing the probability of success.
  7. Discover how long to study: as a rough starting guide, for every hour in class you should plan to study for two hours outside of class. Then, adjust up or down as necessary to achieve your goals .
  8. Plan blocks of time: in general, optimum efficiency is reached by planning to study in blocks of one hour — 50 min of study followed by a 10-min break (Pauk, 1989, p. 45). Shorter periods are fine for studying notes and memorizing materials. Longer periods are often needed for problem solving tasks and for writing papers.
  9. Have an agenda for each study period: be specific regarding the task.

 

 

 

 

Study Tactics Checklist

Students have found the following ideas very useful for learning better in less time. When you sit town to study, review the list and select those tactics you will use. Then use them, and put a line under that item. Keep track of those that work best for you and make them part of your “study habits.”

 

Time Management & Goals

 

  1. Underset rather than overset goals.
  2. Make up a weekly list of things to accomplish.
  3. Make up a “to-do” list for tomorrow and set priorities.
  4. Keep track on paper of time studying and what you accomplished.
  5. Reward yourself for finishing items on your “to-do” list.

 

Reading. Comprehending and Remembering

  1. Use PSQ5R.
  2. Focus at least 50% of your study time on “output” of information.
  3. Practice doing what you will be asked to do on the exam.
  4. Set your purpose before beginning to read or study.
  5. Prepare study sheets that reorganize the information in ways that fit your learning style (e.g., Tables, Figures, Flow Charts, etc.).
  6. Survey reading materials and notes to find the Focus and Perspective before you begin to read or study.
  7. Practice remembering the information (reciting and writing) without the aid of notes, text or study sheets. Remember you won’t have these during the exam.
  8. As you survey a reading selection, formulate questions you will answer as you read. (Who, What, Where, How, Why, Significance).
  9. Form a study group and spend time asking each other questions and “teaching” one another the most important material.

 

 


Time Management For Unmanageable People

Bill Livingston has pointed out the importance for complex problem solvers to develop a socio-technical outlook. In this column, my aim is to emphasize some of the “social” parts of those problems. In doing so, I will try to review positive frames of reference. This is important, I believe, since we all have an abundance of negative frames of reference already locked up in our gray matter.

 

Several years ago I discovered a remarkable book on time management. When my wife handed it to me, I thought, as you’re probably thinking, “Oh no, not another time management book!” But this one really is different. Its points worked for me; and, I reread it about once a year as a refresher.

 

The book takes a whole-brain approach to time management, whereas all other time management books use a half-brain approach.

 

Those things that energize one side of the brain, frustrate and tire the other.

 

Starting about 35 years ago, psychologists and physiologists became very interested in the workings of the right and left sides of the brain. More specifically, they became intrigued by the differences in the functioning of the two frontal hemispheres of the brain. Each hemisphere functions in a separate and almost diametrically opposed manner. Thus, the right hemisphere is illogical, irrational, playful, and holistic. It is the seat of intuition, and the center for the arts, common sense, and creativity. In contrast, the left hemisphere is logical, rational, serious, and linear or sequential. It is the seat of knowledge, and the center for math and language, “book learning,” and rule-based behavior. The two halves of the brain are linked by the corpus callosum, a bundle of nerves that allows one side of the brain to talk to the other side. We all use both sides of our brains. However, most of us are dominant on one side or the other. I am, for example, a right-brain person. I am an excellent starter of projects because I can “see the whole picture.” Unfortunately, I am a poor finisher of projects because the details of putting everything in order and gathering up the loose ends totally frustrate me. And that is the key to McGee-Cooper’s approach to time management: she has recognized that those things that energize one side of the brain, frustrate and tire the other side. Right/Left applications in time management. A left-brain person might set up a time management system based on rules, systems, schedules, to-do lists, and routines. They would set aside a time every day to plan, schedule, and prioritize for that day or the next; then they would start at the top of their list and work to the bottom.

 

This is the approach advocated by all of the other time management books that I have worked through. This approach completely frustrates a right-brain person. The right brain response would be: “Schedules are boring!” They would rather work on several problems at one time, play around with ideas in their mind, come up with a “grand solution,” etc.

 

The approach advocated by Ann McGee-Cooper is a synthesis of both of these. McGee-Cooper instructs:

 

Establish a balance between “work” and “play.” Just as we could not breathe if we only inhaled, we hit burnout if we work too long and hard without taking a break to refresh ourselves. McGee-Cooper reminds us that “the wise woodcutter knows that you can chop more wood if you take time regularly to sharpen your axe.”

Make mistakes. People that don’t make mistakes aren’t growing. This sounds a lot like Livingston’s Short Cycle Run-Break-Fix. (SCRBF)

Let go of guilt. It robs us of energy to do anything else. If we harvest our mistakes, then we can give ourselves permission to go forward. As a Baptist friend said to me one time, “don’t cover yourself up with should.” Pun fully intended.

Decontaminate your time. Don’t mix work time and play time. We contaminate work time when we shuffle papers on our desk or rewrite that report that we finished last week just to get it “perfect.” We contaminate play time when we take home a briefcase full of papers on Friday. We may be too tired to work on any of them Saturday or Sunday, so we return to work on Monday with the same stack and a ton of guilt heaped on top. To decontaminate work time, take a break, go for a walk, see a friend, get a soft drink, take a vacation – anything to refresh yourself so you can come back to the job at hand and concentrate. To decontaminate play time, assess where you are. If you have put in a full day (week), don’t bring any work home. Also, plan your play time ahead – schedule a movie every other week and take your spouse out on Tuesday night – since it’s scheduled, you have the permission and the priority to do it.

Learn to say NO and to use executive neglect. Saying NO is perhaps the most difficult thing for us to do. An example, let the phone ring if you are doing something important – your secretary will take a message – or you can answer and ask if you can you call them back later. Executive neglect consists of not doing those jobs that don’t need to be done. For example, in my car, I listen to the National news on the way to and from work (Public Radio’s “”Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered”); I only read the Local section of the newspaper when I get home. There is no need to read what I’ve already listened to. Furthermore, McGee-Cooper reminds us that not all things worth doing are worth doing well. There is no need to perfect every job.

Time Management is Stress Management. When we make good use of our time, both to get things done and to take joy breaks as appropriate, we get more done in less time and have more fun doing so. And after all, aren’t we supposed to have fun at work?

 


Procrastination: Ten ways to “do it now”

We’ve all been plagued by procrastination at one time or another. For some, it’s a chronic problem. Others find that it hits only some areas of their lives. The net results, though, are usually the same- wasted time, missed opportunities, poor performance, self deprecation, or increased stress.

 

Procrastination is letting the low-priority tasks get in the way of high-priority ones. It’s socializing with colleagues when you know that important work project is due soon, watching TV instead of doing your household chores, or talking about superficial things with your partner rather than discussing your relationship concerns.

 

We all seem to do fine with things we want to do or enjoy doing for fun. But, when we perceive tasks as difficult, inconvenient, or scary, we may shift into our procrastination mode. We have very clever ways of fooling ourselves. See how many of the following excuses hit home for you:

 

  • I’ll wait until I’m in the mood to do it.
  • It’s OK to celebrate …besides I’ll start my diet tomorrow.
  • My health problem isn’t that bad. Time will heal this pain.
  • There’s plenty of time to get it done.
  • Why does the boss give us so much to do? It’s not fair.
  • It’s too hard to talk about. I don’t know where to begin.
  • I work better under pressure so I don’t need to do it right now.
  • I’ve got too many other things to do first.

 

Once exposed, these self-defeating statements don’t sound so convincing. But, when we privately tell ourselves these excuses, they get us to postpone important tasks and duties.

 

CAUSES

 

Procrastination is a bad habit. Like other habits, there are two general causes. The first is the “crooked thinking” we employ to justify our behavior. The second source is our behavioral patterns.

 

A closer look at our crooked thinking reveals three major issues in delaying tactics- perfectionism, inadequacy, and discomfort. Those who believe they must turn in the most exemplary report may wait until all available resources have been reviewed or endlessly rewrite draft after draft. Worry over producing the perfect project prevents them from finishing on time. Feelings of inadequacy can also cause delays. These who “know for a fact” that they are incompetent often believes they will fail and will avoid the unpleasantness of having their skills put to the test. Fear of discomfort is another way of putting a stop to what needs to be done. Yet, the more we delay the worse the discomforting problem (like a toothache) becomes.

 

Our behavioral patterns are the second cause. Getting started on an unpleasant or difficult task may seem impossible. Procrastination is likened to the physics concept of inertia – a mass at rest tends to stay at rest. Greater forces are required to start change than to sustain change. Another way of viewing it is that avoiding tasks reinforces procrastination which makes it harder to get things going. A person may be stuck, too , not by the lack of desire, but by not knowing what to do. Here are some things to break the habit. Remember, don’t  just read them, do them!

 

 

REMEDIES

 

  1. Rational Self-Talk. Those old excuses really don’t hold up to rational inspection. The “two-column technique” will help. Write down all your excuses on one side of a piece of paper. Start challenging the faulty reasoning behind each of the excuses. Write down your realistic thoughts on the opposite side of each excuse. Here are two examples of excuses and realistic thoughts.
  2. Positive Self-Statements. Incorporate a list of self-motivating statements into your repertoire of thoughts. Consider…
  • There’s no time like the present.
  • The sooner I get done, the sooner I can play.
  • There’s no such thing as perfectionism. It’s an illusion that keeps me from doing what I have do right now.
  • It’s cheaper and less painful of I do it now rather than wait until it gets worse.
  1. Don’t Catastrophe. Jumping to the conclusion that you will fail or that you are no good at something will only create a wall of fear that will stop you cold. Recognize that your negative predictions are not facts. Focus on the present and what positive steps you can take toward reaching your goals.
  2. Designing Clear Goals. Think about what you want and what needs to be done. Be specific. If it’s getting that work project completed by the deadline, figure out a time with realistic goals at each step. Keep your sights within reason. Having goals too big can scare you away from starting.
  3. Set Priorities. Write down all the things that need to be done in order of their importance. The greater the importance or urgency, the higher their priority. Put “messing around” (distractions) in its proper place- last! Start at the top of the list and work your way down.
  4. Partialize the Tasks. Big projects feel overwhelming. Break them down in to the smallest and most manageable subparts. You’ll get more done if you can do it piece by piece. For example, make an outline for a written report before you start composing or do a small portion of the chores rather than all at once. Partializing works especially well with the unpleasant jobs. Most of us can handle duties we dislike as long as they’re for a short time and small increments.
  5. Get Organized. Have all you materials ready before you begin a task. Use a daily schedule and have it with you all the time. List the tasks of the day or week realistically. Check off the tasks when you have completed them.
  6. Take a Stand. Commit yourself to doing the task. Write yourself a “contact” and sign it. Better still, tell a friend, a partner, or supervisor about your plans.
  7. Use Prompts. Write reminders to yourself and put them in the conspicuous places like on the TV, refrigerator, bathroom mirror, front door, and car dashboard. The more we remember, the greater the likelihood we’ll follow through with our plans.
  8. Reward Yourself. Self-reinforcement has a powerful effects on developing a “do it now” attitude . Celebrate, pat yourself on the back, smile, and let yourself enjoy the completion of even the smallest of tasks. Don’t minimize your accomplishments. Remember you’re already that much closer to finishing those things that need to be done. Go ahead, get started…Now!

 

 

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