Now that 2016 is finally here it is time to start making a solid strategy on how you will dominate this year. All of us have resolutions we want to see to fruition and goals we want to achieve. Many times there is one thing standing in our way: how fast the year goes by.
Time management will be your biggest tool for achieving the success you desire. Below we have outlined a plan of attack for becoming an expert at managing your time in 2016.
Know Your “Over/Under”
“Over/Under” refers to things that matter to you and your goals and things that don’t. Take a sheet of paper and draw a horizontal line. Above the line write the things that matter to you such as time with family, losing weight, or achieving a promotion. Now keep that sheet of paper with you and as you find yourself taking time for activities that don’t belong above that line, write them below the line. Soon you will have a clear vision of what you should be spending time on and what you shouldn’t. And yes, paying bills needs to be above the line.
Cut Out Multi-tasking
Somewhere along the line it became widely accepted that multitasking was the way to have it all. Unfortunately, in the age of technology we live in today, multitasking has now become the predominate way to disguise lack of productivity. Turn the television off, take off your iWatch, close all those browser windows, stop listening to your work neighbor’s recap of their weekend. Focus on the task at hand and you will find that not only will you be faster at doing it, but the results will be more desirable.
This is where your “Over/Under” comes into play. Focus on what’s important and you won’t be tempted to multitask nearly as much.
“Right Now” does not equal “Needs to be Done Right Now”
Make yourself a promise in 2016 that you will not let the world dictate what’s important. If you let others such as your family, co-workers, clients, or bosses decide in what order you accomplish tasks in a day you will never get ahead for yourself. You know what you can get done and when you can do it. Stick to your instincts on what order you accomplish your daily tasks. Learn to politely “file away for later” requests from outside sources that you know are not urgent.
Keep a Running To-Do List
To-do lists are nothing new. We all have used them at one time or another. However, in a world of deciding between “Right Now” vs “Needs to be Done Right Now”, a running to-do list can be a way to keep track of your incoming tasks without derailing your daily plan. If the boss drops a stack of papers on your desk that needs to be filed “right now”, put it on your list and reassess what you have to accomplish in the next few hours. If there is something more pressing, something pertaining to your “Over/Under”, do that first without regret and with focus. The papers will have their turn.
Own Every Minute of Your Day
We are not in control of how others impact our schedule. People are going to be late for appointments, the doctor will make us wait, co-workers will be late and hold up meetings. What we are in control of is how we spend those re-purposed minutes that are seemingly lost. If you find yourself cooling your heels refer back to your running to-do list and accomplish something mundane such as finalizing your grocery list or get your smartphone out and research something that relates to your goals. Time is only wasted if you let it be so.
There you have it! Some simple strategies to own all 8,760 hours of 2016. Good luck!