6 Tips for Better Time Management
Learn how to make time to smell the roses.
Time-Based, To-Do List
"Create a to-do list that includes how much time you'll spend on each
item on the list," says Moland. Lists are always helpful, but when you add
how much time each task should take, it helps prioritize how you go about the
tasks. When you prioritize tasks you naturally focus on those that you can do
Let Your Computer Help
Technology helped get you into the time bind in the first
place, so use it to help get you out. Try some of the many personal scheduling
software programs that allow you to keep a calendar, "to-do' lists, and
phone and address books on your computer.
"It's not enough to be efficient anymore," said Jasper.
"The goal here is to use the technology to get rid of all the paper in your
life. I can't stress enough how important this is."
Much of organizing, these experts say, comes from streamlining
your life. The more clutter you have in your life -- phone numbers on slips of
paper, business cards in notebooks, a desk piled high with calendars and lists
-- the more likely you are to waste time trying to stay organized and on top of
Is there a more overused buzzword today? We all combine several
activities into one all the time. Some multitasking is dangerous. Talk on the
phone while driving and your chances of being involved in a traffic accident
rise dramatically. That being said, lots of activities can be effectively and
safely combined. Listen to books on tape while commuting. When you watch
television, pay your bills.
"Women are better able to multitask than men," said
Moland. "Even if both partners work full time, the woman usually is able to
still think about the children's schedule, the home, the meals. Men are better
able to focus in on one task at a time -- and women can learn from this at
Don't Be a Perfectionist
There's nothing wrong with being ordinary. Perfectionism,
otherwise known as paying excessive attention to every detail, important or
not, is a kind of procrastination.
"Set rational goals for yourself," says Jasper.
"It's a fine thing to strive to be your best. It's counter productive to
try to be the very best."
Setting unattainable expectations of yourself just adds stress
to your life, Kemp explains.
Finally, don't let any progress, however small, go
"Use your time diary to make decisions about how you want
to organize your time better," said Jasper. "As you make progress in
prioritizing and saying 'no,' let yourself enjoy that. It doesn't have to be a
big reward, maybe it can be as simple as spending some time by yourself or
getting a massage. It's important to
acknowledge and enjoy your success."
John Casey is a freelance lifestyle, health, and
science writer in New York City.