There are many great books out there for organization and time management. Problem is, many of us don’t have the time to sit down and read them much less implement changes! So here is a quickie version of some basic time management and organizational strategies you can begin to use today and possibly free up some time to read one of these great books later. My favorite how-to books are the xxxxx for Dummies series and yes there is a Time Management for Dummies. I highly recommend it.

Do you have a million and one things running around in your mind that you need to do? First and foremost, make yourself a to-do list to get those things out of your worried head and on to paper where they are tangible and more manageable. I keep one to do list with two sections an upper 2/3 section for work and a lower 1/3 section for home and other. I try to put them in order of importance and check things off as I go along. I start each day with a fresh list and keep the older ones for reference in case I need to go back and see when I accomplished something. A quick re-writing of my things to do list each day helps me see what has to be done and plan the day accordingly. I keep six months to a year of these to do lists for backup. Some people like to keep the same list and prioritize with A, B, or C to determine what gets done first. Whatever works for you is what you should use. Just a note – if you happen to be using the 50 post-its stuck around the computer monitor method, you may want to try the list method instead.

For people at work who ask you to do smaller tasks (print reports, change this expense to a different category, install a software program, set up voice mail, etc.) tell them to send the request to you in e-mail. Be firm! Tell the requester that you will not do XYZ without a formal request via e-mail. This keeps you from having to remember the five requests you got stopped for on the way to a lunch meeting. When the task is completed, send a quick it’s done message and move to a separate e-mail folder marked tasks completed. This is a great backup when someone complains that you never responded to a request. Simply pop up the e-mail and forward to your complainer showing when the task was completed. This ends up working like that get out of jail free card in Monopoly in times when your feet are to the fire.

Filed under: Time Management

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