Time Management Suggestions That Really Work

Time management suggestions which involve working in short bursts and roatation eliminates procrastination and ensures that all important tasks get done.

So much has been written about time-management; how to juggle all the claims on our precious time, how to balance work and family commitments, but often the advice leaves us feeling somewhat inadequate rather than re-assured.

We need a simple and stress free plan of how to manage our time more effectively!

There are two practical techniques that really work when it comes to time-management:

Work in short bursts

Most time-management experts suggest that we finish one thing at a time. Anyone, however, who tends to procrastinate knows that this is a tall order. Faced with a task that we're not keen to do, we waste our time in preparation, rather than dealing with the actual task. Studies of human activity have shown that people are most effective at the end of a working period and to some extent, at the beginning. For example, we race through tasks at the end of the working day in order to get things done before we go home. Applying this knowledge, if we work in short bursts, we can maximise the beginning and end effect and miss out the less productive time in between. By working in short bursts, we can overcome our resistance to starting a project. The thought of spending a short period on an unattractive task becomes manageable, whereas the prospect of several hours hard slog probably means we wouldn't get started in the first place! Even within the constraints of the workplace or the demands of family routine, it is surprisingly easy to re-think your tasks and use the "short bursts" time-management technique.

Work in rotation

The secret to getting any task completed is regular focused attention. Every single activity, in varying degrees, requires this undivided attention if it is to be completed successfully. This is a simple fact that we tend to overlook as we lurch from one urgent job to the next. We tend to deal with tasks only when we can procrastinate no longer, or when trouble looms if we don't get on with the project in hand.

Most tasks fit into three main categories:

-Tasks or events that have time allocated to them and over which we have little control, e.g. meetings or family occasions.

-Pleasurable activities to which we want to allocate time, but tend to drop because they get squeezed out of our day through lack of available time, e.g. exercise, reading etc.

-Everything else, including those everyday tasks falls into this third category. Most of the tasks which we procrastinate about, are in this group.

Apply the "short bursts" and "rotation" technique, by making a list or flow chart of tasks that need to be completed. Start with a "home" or "work" list. Allocate suitable bursts of time to each task, e.g. 10-15 minutes and use a clock to make sure that you move on, in rotation, to the next task when the time is up.

Once you get used to working in short bursts and in rotation, allocate longer time slots to each task, crossing them off the list as soon as they are completed.

This simple time-management strategy really works. It can become second nature very quickly. Try it!

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