Mark Forster is the U.K.’s top time management coach and the author of Get Everything Done and Still Have Time to Play, How to Make Your Dreams Come True, and, his newest book, Do It Tomorrow and Other Secrets of Time Management. His website, www.markforster.net, features the first chapter of his new book, articles from his newsletter, a discussion forum, and information about his seminars.
Six Good Ideas about Time Management
1. Before you start thinking about the best way to achieve something, make sure that it’s what you really want. Someone once said, “I spent much of my life climbing the ladder of success only to find I’d leaned it against the wrong wall.”
2. Your best time management tool may be the word “no.” Before you agree to take on a new task, consider how much time it’s going to take and what you will stop doing in order to free up that time.
3. When you start a task, consider what is the best state of mind for that particular thing. Take a moment to put yourself in that frame of mind before you start. For example, if you want to clear out your office, get in touch with the most efficient, brisk part of yourself—because if the curious, child-like part of you handles the task, it’ll take twice as long.
4. Use time pods: 45-minute chunks of time in which you focus on one task without interruptions. Set a timer, and when the 45 minutes are up, take a short break.
5. If you find yourself seriously behind with one project, devote a MAD to it—a Massive Action Day during which you work only on that project.
6. If you find yourself procrastinating, break the task down into tiny steps and do them one at a time. Keep making the steps smaller and smaller until you find them easy to do.
Many time management approaches were developed by and for left-brain (analytical, linear-minded) people. For a right-brain approach, go to the sales page and order my downloadable book, Time Management for Writers and Other Creative People.
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