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Time management done right

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More important than getting everything done is getting the right things done. How do you figure out which priorities are most worthy of attention?

Control the Chaos: Become a Star at Work Without Becoming a Stranger at Home

A structured to-do list is the solution offered by Peter Bregman, Harvard Business Review blogger and author of 18 Minutes: Find Your Focus, Master Distraction and Get The Right Things Done.

Start with your top five priorities for the year, such as, “Do great work for current directors,” “Build repertoire of technical skills” or “Have fun and take care of myself.” Those things will become the organizing map for your day.

Set up a to-do list made up of blocks where each of those priorities becomes a headline. Add a final category titled “The Other 5%.”

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Now, fill in your to-dos, so that each item has a home within your six or so categories. The benefits:

√  Helps you visualize your priorities. “This structure helps carve up my day into manageable, digestible chunks,” writes Bregman. “And en­­sures I spend my time where I should. Saying I want to focus on something is meaningless unless I actually spend my time there.”

√ Allows you to rebalance your time. You may find that one category contains many to-dos, while another is empty. That’s OK for a short time. But if the trend continues, it’s time to refocus on an area where you’re lagging.

√ Sharpens your sense of what-not-to-dos. If you notice that the list of “Other 5%” tasks are dominating your list, it’s time for action. Perhaps it’s time to delay some tasks.

With Control the Chaos, you'll discover dozens of easy-to-use strategies to help you:
  • book cover Speed through today’s – and every day’s – to-do list
  • Organize your day to carve out more personal time
  • Boost teamwork without spending money
  • Learn secrets for NEVER missing deadlines or details
  • Use mental training techniques to stay in top form
  • Handle this morning’s e-mails and voice mails in less than 10 minutes
  • Discover how to say “no” and still delight your boss
  • Delegate more effectively to improve your own job performance
  • Use creative thinking to put out fires faster and easier
  • Keep difficult colleagues from sabotaging your priorities
  • Recruit allies throughout your organization to help YOU
  • … and much, more more!
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