In my last post, we started our list of 50 ways to organize your life. You can review themhere. They are easy techniques and extremely useful in making your life more productive. These included some of my favorite gems, such as:
1. Pinpoint Your Priorities
2. Focus on Most Important tasks
3. Get More Sleep
4. Wake Up Earlier
5. Eat the Frog
Today, as promised, is Part 2. Let's take a look at the next 10 tips:
11. 80/20 Rule
Otherwise known as the Pareto Principle, this rule states that most of our results come from a small portion of our actual work and conversely, that we spend most of our energy doing things that aren't ultimately all that important.
Figure out which part of your work has the greatest results and focus as much of your energy as you can on that part.
In other words, 80% of your problems could be resolved by dealing with 20% of the causes.
12. Next Action
Don't over-plan and don't spend an inordinate amount of time planning out everything you need to do to finish a project. Focus on the very next thing you need to do to move it forward. Usually doing the next, little thing will lead to another, and another.
13. Slow Down
Make time for yourself. Eat slowly. Enjoy a lazy weekend day.
Take the time to do things right, and keep a balance between the rush-rush world of work and the rest of your life. You will be surprised how much quicker projects get completed and how much more you enjoy doing them.
"There is more to life than increasing its speed." -Gandhi
Over a year ago, I visited with Jonnata Mata, a Board Certified Hypnotherapist with Mind Over Matter Hypnotherapy. She gave me the greatest (and I don't think she realized it) advice on slowing down and living in the present.
She told me to "enjoy the colors" that surround you wherever you are and whatever you are doing. It's amazing what you can truly see and feel once you slow down a bit.
14. Time Boxing
Assign a set amount of time per day to work on a task or project.
Focus entirely on that one thing during that time.
Don't worry about finishing it, just worry about giving that amount of undivided attention to the project.
15. Fixed Goals
This is just like time boxing, but you set a fixed goal for the completion of a project.
For example, you don't stop what you are doing until you have finished your "brainstorming" chart or until you have read the first five chapters you have planned in a reference book you are using.
16. Batch Process
Do all your similar tasks together.
For example, don't deal with emails sporadically throughout the day. Instead, set aside a complete hour to go through your email inbox and respond to emails.
Do the same with voice mail, phone calls, responding to letters, filing, and so on -- any routine, repetitive tasks.
17. Handle Everything Once
Don't set things aside hoping you'll have time to deal with them later.
If it doesn't have a "time box" or a "fixed goal" attached to it, then ask yourself, "What do I need to do with this" every time you pick up an unscheduled task.
Then, if it is important enough and won't interfere with your pre-planned schedule either do it, schedule it for later, defer it to someone else, or file it.
18. Don't Break the Chain
Use a calendar to track your daily goals.
Every day you do something, like working out or completing another Spanish lesson make a big check mark on that day.
Every day the chain will grow longer.
Don't break the chain!
Schedule a time with yourself every week to look over what you've done that week and what you want to do the next week. Ask yourself if there are any new projects you should be starting, and if what you're working on is moving you closer to your goals for your life.
This is a fantastic time to pat yourself on the back for your accomplishments. Getting difficult problems solved and important tasks completed deserve recognition, so don't cheat yourself out of the opportunity to reward yourself for a job well-done.
20. Gap Time
Use wisely the little blocks of time we have during the day while waiting for the bus, sitting on the commode (yes I'm serious), standing in line or waiting for a meeting to start, etc.
Have a list of small, five-minute tasks that you can do in these moments, or carry something to read or work on to make the most of these spare minutes.
I sincerely hope that you can use some of these suggestions to bring some organization and clarity to your everyday life.
Like I said yesterday, chose the ones that will work for you and I will chose the ones that work for me.
Being 50+ years old is not an easy task in itself.
There's a lot that's not in our favor and a lot of hills to climb, but with the right attitude and a little planning, you'll be stepping lively and walking downhill before you know it.
Thanks for joining me.
One thing you can count on is that your future will always be ahead of you, so plan to make the most of it.
I will finish off today with a quote from the venerable Abraham Lincoln: "The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time."