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Time Management Action Items 21-40

  1. When shopping for a specific item, call the store instead of going to one or several stores looking for it.
  2. When you have an appointment with the dentist or doctor, call a half-hour before the scheduled appointment to ask if the doctor is on time. If he or she is running behind, tell the receptionist to keep your scheduled time and let him or her know you'll be there when you're expected to actually be seen. This saves the time and the frustration of sitting in a waiting room full of cranky people.
  3. Do your best not to run out of things you need/use on a daily basis, such as paper for your printer or personal things like shampoo. Keep at least one spare on hand and you'll rarely have to run to the store for a last-minute purchase.
  4. Use achievable, measurable, controllable "to-do" lists. Review/update weekly.
  5. Whenever you receive mail, sort it out immediately and look at it just once and determine: a) trash; b) reply needed; c) for future reference; or d) immediate response/signature.
  6. Always bring your organizer, day planner, PDA, portable calendar, etc., to doctor's appointments, meetings, etc. It will allow you to plan, make notes, and organize if you find yourself waiting with time on your hands.
  7. Avoid being a pack rat you waste a lot of time looking for things when you have too much stuff.
  8. Be clear about priorities. There's no way we can do everything everyday, but we can usually do most of those things that are most important.
  9. Keep systems simple - filing, bookkeeping, any kind of system. Complex systems break down quickly because they are cumbersome and difficult to maintain, so we don't maintain them, and things become disorganized again.
  10. Put your schedule in writing. This removes many ambiguous things that actually waste a lot of time.
  11. Prioritize activities: Classify the priorities and the activities as (1) Urgent and important, (2) Urgent, (3) Important and (4) Normal.
  12. "Want to do's" vs. "Have to do's": Wanting to do a job is by heart; just having to do it is by force. To make best use of the time, create a self-motivation policy of wanting to do rather than having to do a job.
  13. Buy in bulk. Think ahead of gift-giving occasions.
  14. If you've made a "To Do" list the day before (remember tip #2?), then follow it the next morning. Don't be distracted by coming up with other activities when you first get to your office. Start with your already-prioritized list of things that need to get done that day.
  15. Learn speed reading and increase your vocabulary. We spend quite a big percentage of our time each day on reading. Having a better vocabulary not only helps you to communicate efficiently but increases your comprehension of your reading.
  16. If you're a morning person, do your high-priority items and the jobs which require higher concentration in the morning. Vice versa for evening/night people.
  17. All work and no play is very counterproductive. Break monotony, and take small breaks in between.
  18. Schedule uninterrupted focus time in your day planner. This allows you to work on important projects when you're most alert and at your best. You'll improve your focus and accomplish more in a shorter period without distractions and interruptions.
  19. Practice TNT - Today, Not Tomorrow. Get it done now, and don't put off til tomorrow what you can do today.
  20. Write it down. A short pencil is better than a long memory any day. It sounds simple, but often the best solutions are easy and quick. Carry index cards. The paper is sturdy so you can do it on the fly and the cards last longer. They slide easily into a shirt pocket or a purse.

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