Thursday, November 17, 2016

Giving Your Time The D! Time Management Techniques For Busy People

Regardless of whether or not you are an entrepreneur, CEO, student or employee everyone struggles with time.  They either don't have enough of it or are not managing it correctly.  Not having enough time is a lie most people feed themselves when they cannot accomplish goals they set for themselves.  My solution?  Give your time the D!

Last month I wrote an article called "Giving Your Business The D! What Entrepreneurs and Startups Need to Succeed".  This is an extension of that train of thought and if you follow these four rules for time management I can promise you that you will have more time and get more things done; regardless of your standing currently. 

So here it is: Do it, Delegate it, Defer it or Drop it.  These are the 4 master rules to time management and they can be put in place to crush your to-do list. 

Life is a constant barrage of activities and agendas and if you cross off everything on your to-do list you would simply add more things to do.  That is life.  As humans we want to stay busy.  If you had nothing to do, if you had absolutely no responsibilities - - you would create some.  So imagine your hefty list of things to do and then apply one of these rules to each single item on your list:

Do it:  This is for things on your list that can be done instantly or right away.  Everyone has something on their list that can be accomplished in minutes or today.  Look through your list of tasks and pick the ones that can be finished today within minutes or hours and do them.  If you can not accomplish the thing on your list instantly or almost instantly than apply one of the following three rules;

Delegate it:  Somethings on your list can not be accomplished right away or may not even be feasible to be done by yourself.  Delegate these things to other people or entities that can accomplish them for you.  Delegation is an undervalued tool that people often overlook.  Not everything has to be done be you and many things will be better done by someone else.  Understand your strengths and weaknesses and delegate things where you are weak.  Consider delegating things where you may be strong but occupy to much time.  Remember, time is you most valuable asset and the goal is to check things off the list, not to necessarily do them yourself.  If you can not delegate it or do it right away, see the final two rules for time management;

Defer it:  If you can not accomplish the task today or can not delegate it to someone else that defer it in time.  To often you finish your day with a to-do list that is not complete and this leads to lack of satisfaction and a sense of in-accomplishment.  Reschedule items on your task list to another time and this will free up mental space for you to accomplish the more important things.  Your to-do list may be full of things that do not necessary need to be done right away, today or even this week.  Defer them to a later time and watch how your time opens up.  Much time is spent throughout the day or week thinking about things that need to get done when in reality they do not need to get done today or even this week.  By deferring things on your list it will open up your mental bandwidth to focus on things that actually have to get done currently.  If you can not do it, delegate it or defer it than see the final rule.

Drop it:  Like most people you have a long to-do list of items that vary in importance.  If they are super important they will get done.  Look at an old task list and you will find that the most urgent things where done without you even applying these principles.  If you find that you do not need to do them immediately or they are not important enough to defer or delegate; than they are probably not important at all.  Cross this task completely off your list and acknowledge to yourself that it does not need to be done at all.  Drop it from your list, drop it from your mind and drop it from your priorities. 

The point of these four rules it to free up your mind.  When you are trying to get things done the number 1 inhibitor is your attention.  If you can not focus than it will be extremely difficult to accomplish anything.  By applying these rules to your entire task list if gives you the ability to cross things off your list and focus today on what is important.  I suggest to have 3 lists.  One for today which is your to-do list, a delegation list and a deferred list (or a list for tomorrow or another time).  Only keep the list for today in your hand or pocket.  By writing all of these things down it will free your mind which is usually worried about what you might forget.  Again, go through your list and mark each item with Do it, Defer it, Delegate it or just cross it out (Drop it).  These 4 rules have helped me accomplish more and they will help you too!

Success and nothing less,

-Nick Coriano

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About the Author: Nicholas Coriano is a Business Consultant.  He is a graduate of The University of Connecticut Business School and the John Marshall Law School in Chicago.  He has worked at Merrill Lynch, The New York Stock Exchange and is currently a partner at Cervitude Intelligent Relations, which specializes in Investor Relations for companies valued under $1 Billion USD.

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