How To Get Organized

We are busy people.  We work full-time jobs.  We have families, activities, house work, house maintenance, and errands.  Now we have a part-time business with demands.  Everything you do is important, including the hour or two with a good book or television at the end of the day.  Our objective in time management is not necessarily eliminate time wasters, but to do more in less time.  At least this is what I try to do.

The book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” teaches us that we must do the important things before we do the urgent things.  At least we must attempt to do the important things first.  Because the urgent things we need to do usually need to be done because an important thing wasn’t done.  So how do we know what we have to do and what should be done first?  We need to make a list.

A list is written on a piece of paper.  I usually start out with a clean sheet daily and put down the tasks from the previous day that were not done.  Then as I think of things that need to be done, I add them to the list.  I do this because I usually think of new things as I go about my day, and rather than try to do them right at that moment, I add to my list.

When you are ready to work on your list items, prioritize them by importance, then do the most important one first.  Do your list item by item until they are done.  You may need to group your list by things to be done in the house, things to be done at work, things to be done while out, things to do/get at the store, etc.  As you get used to using a list, you will find that you can perform your individual tasks quicker and quicker, leaving more of the day free to do other things.

Many people can multi-task but if you find that this is becoming a problem, change to doing things one by one.  You can tell it’s becoming a problem when you have many partially finished tasks waiting.  A ringing telephone, new email, and other distractions often can wait until you are at the end of your list.  When I was running my business from home I would often allow telephone calls to take precedence so that I could talk to customers and distributors.  However, if you find that answering the telephone is becoming a distraction, let the call go through to the answering machine and return calls later.

We do need to eliminate those things that are really not important and are distractions from what needs to get done.  Things like reading email, looking at facebook or twitter, bored surfing the internet, watching tv, or anything else that can get in the way of getting our list done.  Those things can have a time and place and as you get more efficient you will find you have plenty of time for these things.

If anybody has any other ideas for time management please let me know.  I still have yet to figure out how to organize paperwork and such.  My corporate taxes are going to be interesting this year.

Leave a Reply