None of us are short on ideas. What we are often short on is effective execution of those ideas. Effective Prioritization and Time Management enables you to improve your decision-making, create achievable deadlines and better communicate your progress and needs for completing goals.
This will quickly increase your value to clients or employers because you’ll be getting more things accomplished while maintaining a more relaxed mindset. This is significant in reducing your stress and burnout.
Time management software is effective at guiding and tracking your time used, but it cannot compensate for poor prioritization methods. You need to learn to create by improving your efficiency through better prioritization and time-management strategies.
1. Practice Your A-B-Cs daily
Too many tasks that seem urgent or important can easily overwhelm you. This creates procrastination or simply paralysis. Using the A-B-C’s will empower you to control your time in a way that is effective and reduces stress and burnout.
STEP 1 – Mind Dump: Get EVERYTHING out of your head and onto a piece of paper. Don’t pre-prioritize anything, just list out anything you can think of that you need to do, decide or consider. Don’t leave anything out. It’s going to look scary at first but it will get better quickly.
STEP 2 – A-B-C it: If something is urgent and important, it’s an A. If it’s important but not urgent, it’s a B. If it’s not urgent or important (right now), it’s a C.
Tip: If you have something that you’re cringing over because it’s going to be hard to deal with or address, make that an A. Once you tackle that difficult A, it’s going to relieve so much stress and mind space that it will free up your mind for more creative things.
STEP 3 – Break It Down: Sometimes, we see way too many A’s on our priority list. When that happens, you need to break it down into smaller chunks. It’s kind of like micro-managing yourself. That might sound frustrating, but either you micro-manage yourself, or let your boss do it for you.
2. Follow the One-Hour Rule
Research shows that people doing the same task for too long creates more stress. Your mind needs a change to stay fresh.
When you create your daily to-do list, do not allow more than one-hour for each task. This will enable you to stay fresh because you get to change gears. It’s also great for procrastinators because it creates a sense of urgency that will motivate you to work faster.
3. Relax and Hobby
Your mind needs a break from all of this ideation and strategy. If you don’t have a hobby, find something. Even if it’s cleaning your house. Do something that requires you to concentrate on an activity that is not work or business related.
Turn off technology if at all possible. Your mind can’t reprogram itself to relax if you’re still tuned into all of the latest news and social media updates popping across your device. Unplug and find an activity that gets your imagination working outside of your normal work day.
If you use the A-B-C’s, limit your tasks time to an hour and make time to relax and disconnect, you’re guaranteed to be more successful in a shorter amount of time. You can actually CREATE MORE TIME for the work you love because you’re using the time you have more effectively.