“There's never enough time to get things done.” Does that sound familiar? You can't actually create more hours in the day – everyone is stuck with the usual 24. But you can get more out of each hour.
That doesn't mean working 18 hours a day, either. The trick is to plan ahead. The night before, sit down and plan out your activities for the next day. That way you'll know exactly what your priorities are at any given time. You'll be amazed by how much more you can get done if you always know what you should be doing.
- Write down a list of everything that you want to get done tomorrow. Include everything, not just work-related functions – if you need to take the dog to the vet or drop off a letter at the post office, add those tasks to the list as well.
- Ask yourself, “Which item on this list will have the biggest positive impact on my life if I get it finished tomorrow?” Circle that item and write a #1 next to it.
- Pick out your second, third and fourth most critical items and label them accordingly.
- Turn to a new page and write down exactly when you will be working on your four high-priority tasks. You don't have to put them in order or make them your first activities of the day. By making an appointment with yourself to do each of them you'll be able to ensure that you'll get them done. Block out a reasonable amount of time for each task.
- Fill in tomorrow's schedule with the rest of your activities. This schedule doesn't have to be set in stone – in fact, you will almost certainly end up shifting things around as new tasks come up and old ones lose their urgency.
- Bring your schedule with you and post it someplace where you can easily see it as you work. If you need to make radical changes, you can pencil things out or shift the schedule around.