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Time Management Action Items 1-20


  1. Ask yourself, "What is the best use of my time right now?" Develop an absolute "yes" and an absolute "no" list.
  2. When you finish work, make your agenda for the following day. The ideas are in your mind and, the next morning, you can review, prioritize and get a jump-start on your day.
  3. When you try to contact anyone by phone, and they're not available, leave a message so they have some idea of what you want and can be prepared with the information you want when returning your call. Also, let them know how quickly you would like a return call.
  4. Use the team concept and delegate. Together Everyone Accomplishes More (TEAM).
  5. Indecision is a huge time-waster. Often it's the little decisions which get us as we handle the same issue more than once before doing something about it. For everything that can be done in less than five minutes, Do It Now! Decide now what the next best step is and then do that. The step may be small or big, but decide NOW, trash it, delete it, throw it away, but do it NOW!
  6. Kill three birds with one stone. If you live within five miles of work, walk or bike to work. The advantages? 1) You get your exercise in and get to work at the same time; 2) you're more productive because of the energizing effect of exercise; and 3) you feel better after you get home, too.
  7. Concentrate on one thing at a time. You might THINK you can focus on more than one thing, but you can't. Attempting to do so will usually fragment your efforts.
  8. Combine a low-level physical task with high-level thinking. As you work on the computer, you might have supper cooking in a crock pot. Your mind stays on one thing. While commuting to and from work, listen to educational or motivational tapes. You'll find yourself doing twice as much as before with no more effort.
  9. To realize where your time goes, make a pie chart showing the 24 hours in each day: Seven hours of sleep, eight hours at work, one and a half hours of commute, two hours for meals and prep. That leaves five and a half hours per day for family, exercise, and for you.
  10. Rituals and good habits can move you further along the journey to a life in balance. Simple, quick and easy habits, done regularly, can reduce or remove stress and anxiety and save time. Journaling, drinking water instead of soda, and breathing deeply are all habit-forming and good for you too!
  11. Plan your work, and work your plan. Take more time in planning your day. This saves considerable time. Every minute spent planning saves five in confusion and frustration. Measure twice, cut once.
  12. Follow the "touch-it-once" rule. While it is in your hand, put it where it ultimately belongs, rather than in a temporary place. Deal with it, delegate it, or dump it the first time you handle it.
  13. Don't reinvent unnecessarily. Follow the systems that are already in place or that someone else is using effectively.
  14. Close your office door at the end of the day. Take 15 minutes to contemplate what you accomplished today and plan what you will accomplish tomorrow.
  15. Keep an incoming phone log so you won't have to look numbers up again and again.
  16. Practice "Do it now." As soon as you think of something that needs to be done or that you have been asked to do, do it right away - it saves time.
  17. Do whatever is ahead of you as though you only have that hour to live. Do your best now, for yourself and your family.
  18. Have a clear vision and purpose - then estimate the worth of any activity in terms of supporting that vision.
  19. Be organized - it's the foundation of being calm and having plenty of time.
  20. Finish what you start. Leaving things 90% finished creates chaos and stress and an unbelievable mess, both at home and at work.

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