Effective Time Management Tips

One of the most common questions I get asked is, “How do you do it all?” Throughout my life I’ve discovered a few things that help me get things done efficiently. I’d like to share some “30,000 ft view” concepts in this post that can change your life.

Have Goals

I know this sounds basic, but this is one of the steps that is missed the most. If you do not have a written list of goals with timelines attached…

Surprise: You don’t have any goals.

We all have things we want to get done. And we are all great at making to-do lists, but goals lists take a little more focus and energy. One thing that keeps people from making a goals list is that they don’t know the to-do’s that are attached to their goals. I encourage you to figure out the baby steps along the way, but start by writing the goal down and attaching a timeline to it.

Review Often

After you have goals in place, you need to review and envision those goals daily. This is a process that needs to be worked into your day that becomes a ritual in your life. This reviewing process allows you to redirect your energies daily and to identify when you have gotten off track for too many days in a row. I suggest reviewing your goals at night and in the morning. Sleep on your goals and while you sleep let your subconscious work to bring solutions to you overnight. Many times when we are engulfed in a problem for an extended period of time, we become less effective at solving it. A break in your solution finding, like sleeping on it, allows you to relax and frees other parts of your brain to address the problem. Review your goals nightly to maximize this process.

Batch Activities

One thing I learned in medical school, was to batch potentially time-consuming activities, like email. I would only do email at certain times during the day, the same was true for paying bills monthly and laundry. This allowed me to focus on one task at a time, while simultaneously addressing all things that needed to get done. Batching means you make a list of things you want to get done and then attach a time period to it. Example would be checking email from 12-2pm daily only. I learned some great batching tools from Tim Ferriss.

Refocusing

Staying focused is sort of a misnomer. No one is really able to stay focused continuously. For me, staying focused means I have a process in place that allows me to refocus on a cyclical basis. What I mean by this is I  stop and reassess my current activity in order to match it with my current goals. By identifying when I’m off task, and working in a process that brings me back to task, this allows me to get more things done.

I hope this few tips lead to a more productive and focused time this year. Sign up here to receive my free 4-part video course on goal setting.

If you have things that help you get more done. Please add in the comments.