So far, we talked about keeping a journal for daily activities, changing them around and finding meaningful ways of doing them in a more efficient manner.
Now it is time to be introduced to a great, simple technique that has helped a lot of people make order in their otherwise chaotic life.
Making lists as a technique for combating stress
Yes, making lists is the technique we want to talk to you about. It is simple, it is efficient and it has been verified so many time that it barely needs an explanation.
We will show you right away how you can use this technique to get better at time management.
Here are some guidelines on how you can start building your own lists for things you want to do. These 3 techniques should help your to achieve clever time management.
3 Great List Building Techniques That Will Help You Achieve Clever Time Management
Technique #1: To do lists fall in 3 important categories
First things first, just write down everything you need to do.
It does not matter if the things or activities written there must be done within the foreseeable future or they are more long term.
Once you have everything written down – remember that you can always go down and complete this list, as the need arises – it is time to split the list between things and activities you need to do today and those that are long term.
Let’s talk now about the day list. This is a list for all the activities that are really urgent and they need to be done today or during the next several days.
Deadlines and other urgent things should be on this list.
The other remaining list is the long term list.
This list should contain what activities and things you need accomplished within more than 2 weeks from the current date.
This will allow you to keep things organized, without cluttering your day list.
Technique #2: Make a priority list
Not all the things you need to do have the same level of urgency and they are not all equally essential.
To be more efficient at managing your time, prioritize those that must be done immediately or have a superior importance in your own scheme of things.
Here is a small tip on how to make this more manageable.
Note the items on your list with some easy to remember marks that will let you know if one activity takes little time, or if one is even enjoyable to do.
Technique #3: Do not use the long term list as an excuse for procrastination
The long term list has as major importance, as it takes the pressure from the day list, so you do not feel like you are running out of time.
Nonetheless, you should not use this list just as a means to postpone a lot of things that need to be done.
Until you get to do the things written on the list, the list remains nothing but a list, and it does not turn into a practical tool for better time management.
A great tip for keeping things organized
Here is an idea on how you can keep track of your to do lists without becoming overwhelmed.
Write down the tasks you need to do today, but make extensions for the following days and you can even go as far as the end of the month.
This will definitely help you be and feel more organized and you will have a better chance at managing your time.
In case you are not crazy about keeping all kinds of journals and notebooks around you, you can always make use of all the marvelous digital devices we now have in our lives.
On iOS and Android marketplaces, you can find plenty of productivity apps that allow you to quickly organize your time. These apps make time management more efficient and even fun.
Since you most probably take your smartphone everywhere you go, it is simple to take it out of your pocket and check the grocery list, for instance.
Choosing the right app involves a bit of browsing around.
A good one should have lists and sub-lists and it should allow you to share the same information over a wide range of media devices, so you can access these lists from your phone, your tablet, your computer and so on.
Also, the app should allow you to mark as finished different tasks, and prioritize the ones you consider that are most important, such as the ones on your day list.