Possibly your most valuable resource in achieving all you set out to do in life is time. Without an effective and reliable means of managing your time and making the best use of it you will struggle to get what you want. There are many techniques for effective time management and so knowing what will work for you is important.
I’m a great believer in using “to do” lists each day. That way I know precisely what I have to do. The lists include the routine tasks that must be done, action points towards the key projects I am working on, and other activities I am to do including those relating to my leisure time. The lists are also broken down into time segments throughout the day. Then as I complete each task I can mark it off and so at the end of the day I get the great sense of achievement of having a list of what I have done and the motivation to move forward.
Now this technique may well work for you too, but there is another way. There are those who argue that using “to do” lists can actually be counter-productive. They say that reading the items on the list can have the effect of nagging away at you and causing you stress and worry that you might not get them done. Then if there are uncompleted items at the end of the day you will feel a sense of disappointment or failure and so the list becomes something that is de-motivating.
So their alternative method is to use “Did It” lists by simply entering items, stating concisely what you have done, into your diary or journal when you have completed them. The basis of this system is:
1. You know your goals and they are clear and meaningful and you have written them down.
2. You break your goals down into projects and then into smaller manageable chunks.
3. You have time allocated each day to carry out these tasks.
4. Therefore you know exactly what you have to do each day.
5. Once you have completed a task you then enter it into your diary or journal. You write precisely what you did and what was accomplished.
6. So at the end of the day you have a list of all that you have got done and hence a real sense of achievement.
So if you are struggling to manage your time and your “To Do” lists are becoming a hindrance rather than a help, why not give it a try. It may be just what you need to finally achieve your goals.
My main worry about this alternative method is that knowing in your mind what you have to do is one thing, but actually doing it can be something completely different! So I shall stick to the way that works for me. I need to have my tasks written down and I know that by managing them efficiently they will truly be helpful.
But whichever you choose, if you want to make real progress with your goals you must manage your time.
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