5 Time Management Tools and Techniques
Good time management is essential to your success. Using an effective time planner and master list you can achieve any goal you set your mind to. These are standard time management tools and techniques that you should practice for maximum productivity and good personal organization.
Each of them takes a little time to learn and master, but pays you back in greater efficiency and effectiveness for the rest of your life.
1. Use a Time Planner and Create a Master List
The first time management tool that you need is a time planner that contains everything you need to plan and organize your life. The best time planners, whether looseleaf binders or electronic versions, enable you to plan for the year, the month, the week, and for each day.
A good time planner will contain a master list where you can capture every task, goal, or required action as it comes up. This master list then becomes the core of your time-planning system. From this master list, you allocate individual tasks to various months, weeks, and days.
2. Work From a List
Every effective executive works from a daily master list. It is the most powerful tool ever discovered for maximum productivity and it’s one of the best ways to help achieve your SMART goals. When you create your daily list, you begin by writing down every single task that you intend to complete over the course of the day.
The rule is that you will increase your efficiency by 25% on the very first day that you start using a list.
This means that you will have two extra hours of productive time in an eight-hour day from the simple act of making a list of everything you have to do before you start work. You can bring order out of chaos faster with a list than with any other time management tool.
3. Organize By Priority
Once you have a master list for your day’s activities, the next step is for you to organize this list in order of priority. Consider using a time management matrix to determine what tasks are truly urgent and important. Once your master list is organized, it becomes a map to guide you from morning to evening in the most effective and efficient way. This guide tells you what you have to do and what is more or less important. You will soon develop the habit of using your list as a blueprint for the day. Read this post on eat that frog for more tips.
Remember that the 80 20 Rule, also known as the Pareto Principle, says that 80% of your results will come from 20% of your efforts. Therefore, the key to maximizing your efficiency is prioritizing the tasks that contribute to the majority of your gains.
4. Time Management Tools and Systems
The variety of personal digital assistants (PDAs) and computer-based time planner systems available today is absolutely wonderful. No matter what you do, in whatever field, there are digital time management systems that you can tap into or load onto your personal computer to help organize every part of your life.
5. Organize Your Time
The ability to organize your time is a priceless time management skill.
There is a simple method of organizing your time and your schedule for up to two years in advance. It is called the “45-file system.” This is a tickler file that lets you plan and organize your activities and callbacks for the next twenty-four months.
This is how it works:
First, you get a box of forty-five files with fourteen hanging files to put them in. The forty-five files are divided as follows: There are thirty-one files numbered one through thirty-one for the days of the month. There are twelve files for the months of the year, January through December. The last two files are for the next two years.
This is a wonderful system that you can also use with hanging files in your desk drawer.
Get a personal planner of some kind, whichever format you are most comfortable using (e.g digital or paper), and invest the time necessary to learn how to use it. The payoff in saved time and increased productivity will be enormous.
If you want to learn more about being the most productive you can possibly be, join me for a free 45-minute training called Kickstart Your Productivity where I’ll teach you several science-driven rules I rely on for becoming a powerhouse of productivity.
You can also find my best blogs, courses, and videos on my time management resource page.
About Brian Tracy — Brian is recognized as the top sales training and personal success authority in the world today. He has authored more than 60 books and has produced more than 500 audio and video learning programs on sales, management, business success and personal development, including worldwide bestseller The Psychology of Achievement. Brian's goal is to help you achieve your personal and business goals faster and easier than you ever imagined. You can follow him on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Linkedin and Youtube.