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Jul 22, 201312:01 PMThe Gray Area

with Donna Gray

7 tips for effectively managing your schedule

(page 1 of 2)

American philosopher and psychologist William James said, “Nothing is as fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task.” Napoleon Hill, the author of Think and Grow Rich, said, “Procrastination is the bad habit of putting off until the day after tomorrow what should have been done the day before yesterday.”

I’ve never been a procrastinator. Usually, when I’m working on a project, I just want to get it finished and get on with other things. I’m not good at delaying things until a deadline looms. Lately, though, other people’s delays have been affecting my desire to “get it done,” and then, of course, there’s Murphy, who always gets involved with his law when things are going crazy. When procrastination, no matter where the delay comes from, is partnered with a busy schedule, things get even more complicated.

Some folks always seem to be running several steps behind schedule. Some of us go home at the end of the workday feeling as though we’ve accomplished absolutely nothing. Besides carrying home the guilt for not doing what we expected we should do, we feel like we can’t control our schedules. One would think that with all the technology and the “helpful” tools we have at our disposal today, we should be able to get all our daily tasks finished and have time to play cards, go fishing, see a movie, or whatever else interests us. Not so!

Now that it’s the middle of summer and things are less hectic, I’m looking for ways to cure the pains of “too much to do and not enough time.”

A life coach friend told me that one should plan each day in order to feel more in control. A daily “to-do” list, with the most important issues at the top, is helpful in creating the plan. If possible, leave some time in between tasks for the unexpected conflicts and last-minute rush things that creep into the day.

Here are a few useful tips for managing your schedule:

  1. Evaluate how time is spent.
  2. Prioritize everything. Use the Pareto Principle (the 80/20 Rule) the entire day.
  3. Get rid of the “as soon as I can get to it” attitude and commit to making daily quality time for priorities. I know a few really dedicated procrastinators and this may be very difficult for them.
  4. Put “edges” on projects. So many folks have too many irons in the fire at the same time.
  5. Learn to say no. No waffling … no “maybe” … just NO.
  6. Focus. Get into a productive state of mind.
  7. Be proactive. Planning, preparing, and doing/acting are the keys to less stress in the workday.


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