Now, I don’t mean to toot my own horn but, I graduated University with some damn good grades. Doesn’t mean I’m the smartest person alive, nor does it mean I was part of the most studious study groups. I owe my high grades to primarily one thing – effective time management!
I cannot place enough emphasis on how necessary it is to manage your time for max productivity (hopefully the italics, bolding, and underlining help to emphasize ). This goes hand in hand with NOT procrastinating! It irks me seeing how much people shove tasks off for later and only end up feeling sorry for themself when they find they don’t have enough time to get everything done.
Clearly these folks never heard of the good old saying; “You snooze, you lose”. So, here’s some advice on how to stop pressing the darn snooze button, and how to design a well-managed game plan.
1. Segment the Tasks – Be it school projects, work projects, or heck, even life projects, my first step is to create a list. I design a broad outline of all requirements, and I won’t focus on the details of any stage or requirement until I actually need to. I find that a lot of people become fixated on the tiny details, and easily become overwhelmed – why are you doing that to yourself!? Of course you’re going to fall down the over thinking hole when there’s a thousand details on your mind. Break it down into I’d say 3-5 broad chunks; it’ll appear waaayyyy more achievable and the only thought running through your mind will be “Man, we got this!”
2. Trick Yourself Out – Yep. It’s time to pull out the magic kit and wand from when you were 6, and have a refresher on those “disappearing” tricks – just make the task disappear. Okay actually, maybe that’s not what I meant. What I was aiming for was trick yourself by setting a deadline well in advance of the actual deadline. THIS. WORKS. WONDERS. It really is the best magic trick out there (and I do mean it this time). Try your hardest to really commit to the earlier deadline you set for yourself . If you aren’t able to complete your project by that time, at least you know you have a bit of a buffer. My advice, set it 3 days – 1 week in advance, depending on the nature of the task.
3. Eat the Skunk (originally eat the “frog” as per Mark Twain ~ “Eat a live frog first thing in the morning, and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day”, but I like skunk more)- I don’t blame you if reading this name of this third step has left you thinking “Why in the world am I reading this?”. Just hear me out on this one! Skunks, generally, are not perceived positively. They waddle kinda funny, their body shape is weird and oval, and most importantly they can smell awful when they spray. Most of the time, no one wants skunks around. So, find the skunk of your project; the worst, smelliest, most tedious aspect you have to complete – and eat that thing up first. Complete the worst first and things will only get better!
And so dear friends, what are you going to do on your next project to manage your time like a pro? Well, you may have to eat a skunk if you’re taking my advice 😉
Peace out, until next time