I've often been asked why my life seems so organised. When this question was first put to me I didn't know how to respond. My first impression was. . . "gee, am I so obviously anal?"
When I sat down and thought about it I realised it had nothing to do with being anal. More to do with good time management and it's something I learnt very early in life. You see, having a good time management strategy is not rocket science. It's about implementing a routine in your day to day life that is flexible. That's important. It's when you become inflexible that frustration and stress sets in and strategy “flies out the window. "
Today, as a web publisher, my time management strategy continues to serve me well in fact, on most occasions I'm not even aware I have one. Does that make sense? Sure it does! Breaking my day up into parts has had a profound impact on my productivity levels. I approach each day with a plan and barring a natural disaster, I stick to that plan. Is it rigid? No it's not and I can choose to make changes to it at a minute's notice if I choose to. So let's examine my daily time management strategy.
The 3:30 Experience!
1. I identify what has a deadline and what hasn't. This is important because it prevents me from haphazardly jumping from one task to another.
2. As a web publisher, distinguishing between work and relaxation time is vital. You need to create a good balance. My work time is from 9:00am to 3:30pm. This is the time of the day when I'm working on projects. It's my productive time and unnecessary distractions are eliminated.
3. I reward myself every time I complete a task. So what's the reward? Anything you want it to be as long as it's within reason and doesn't eat up too much valuable productive time.
4. This is my coup de grace! This is where I use mind over matter and it works most of the time. I love being in a positive mood. Before I start each day, I imagine what I'm going to be doing at 3:30pm after I finish work. It may be sitting down and watching my favorite movie or sporting event; it could be heading down to the beach for a swim or it could be going down to my favorite local cafe for a caffe latte or two. The trick is not to just simply think about what you'll be enjoying when you finish but to think about how satisfied you are that you've completed what you set out to do at the beginning of the day.
It sounds pretty simple doesn't it but it's a time management strategy I've used since my school days. And the reason it's so powerful is the fact that when I project a thought of satisfaction and accomplishment like this, the motivation is so strong that it can act as a driving force throughout my entire day. If I begin to ease off, which happens quite frequently, I think about my 3:30 experience.
Finally, implementing a time management strategy will only be successful if you are prepared to follow it. Don't over commit yourself and be a little flexible: in time, it will become second nature, without appearing to be anal!
Dean Caporella is a professional broadcaster. Dean reviews a variety of time management strategies plus related time management news and tips at: http://www.timemanagementsite.com