Develop a system to organize your time and activities:
- Identify organizing objectives.
- Develop an effective organizing system.
- Practice your system to increase your efficiency and effectiveness by meeting your organizing objectives.
- Revise and update the system.
If your organizing system saves you just fifteen minutes per day from rummaging for misplaced items or ruminating over what to start, you will gain the equivalent of almost twelve eight-hour workdays each year.
Catch Up, Keep Up, Get Ahead
The pileup of tasks from the past becomes a pain in the present and distracts from actions to make for a better future. Imagine what it would feel like if you could confidently keep up-to-date, and get ahead of things to open more time for future activities.
Organize your work into three groupings: catch up, keep up, and get ahead. Catch-up activities are the things left undone that haunt your present. To get beyond this pattern of delay, make a list of what to do. Block off time. Plan to work by project. Tackle them and whittle down the list. Keep-up activities are current. If you get them out of the way, they don’t make it onto your catch-up list. Complete reasonable things in a reasonable way within a reasonable time. This strategy will help you get things done and avoid procrastination. Get-ahead activities include doing what advances your long-term interests. Suppose you want to start your own business. Your get-ahead plan can involve marketing research, developing advertising materials, creating a proprietary control system, financing the operation, and testing the viability of your plan. As you free time from catch-up and keep-up activities, you have more time available for get-ahead activities as well as old-fashioned fun. Challenge yourself to place your greatest emphasis on keeping up and getting ahead. You’ll have less work to carry over from the past. You’ll feel less stress from clutter hanging over your head.
By mastering efficiency techniques, you can make them automatic and habitual.