Do you ever feel pulled in every direction? When you are at work, you feel that you should be at home. And when you are at home, you feel like you should be at work. If this is the case, you are in the same boat as many professionals. The solution to this tug of war is to master time management.
We all have a variety of roles and responsibilities that we must fulfill each and every week. Begin each week by outlining your roles and responsibilities so that nothing is missed or neglected. Typical roles include parent, spouse, sibling, health, personal development, work, networking, family at large and friends. Once you narrow down your list of roles, define who or what falls into each of those categories. Then, clarify what action step you can take during the given week to fulfill expectations within each of your roles.
Now that you have identified your roles and the tasks that you need to complete this week to fulfill those roles, you need to place your action items into your calendar. This is a key step. If you do not schedule items within your calendar, they are not likely to be completed. Start with your most important, non-negotiable activities first. These activities include appointments, conference calls and events that you must attend. Then, work around these vital activities with the remainder of your list of tasks.
Now that you have your week planned, you need to take time management one step further. You should always have two working lists at all times; the master to-do list and the daily to-do list. Your master list should include anything and everything within your life that you need to address. Your daily list will include 4-6 items from your master list that you intend to complete during the given day. By working these lists, you are working in a proactive manner to manage your time effectively.
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