When it comes to prioritizing time, most men will admit they’re the worst. Between what they want to do and what they need to do, men often find that time gets away from them and they wind up not just unproductive, but annoyed and even angry. If this sounds like you, fortunately, there’s a better way.
I’m talking about a proven process and methods for making better decisions about time to improve personal productivity and help manage your path through life. The trick is to identify and jettison low-value activities where possible, reorganize the more valuable tasks in your daily life, and regain control of your time. That means allocating time for the most important items on your to-do list and identifying the resources available to take care of the least important.
Think of it this way -- important activities should have high priority because they are the things that contribute most significantly to your objectives, such as being successful at work and making time for friends, family, and personal activities. High priority tasks have more long-term impact and should help you the most in achieving your goals.
Interestingly, urgent activities are not necessarily important ones and are usually more short-term in nature. They may or may not relate to your big-picture objectives and they usually do not make significant contributions to your general well-being. Instead, urgent activities simply make endless demands on your time, even though they’re low-value in the long run. Journaling is a tool to help you explore what is important to you and which activities are low-value. Use it to help you get organized.
So where do you begin to regain control of your life?
Here are some tips to help you get organized:
1. Start by making lists and planning your day before it gets away from you. By prioritizing activities on your list, you will find it easier to focus and accomplish things in an orderly manner.
2. Set priorities from the start to eliminate or minimize unproductive to-do items and make room for more productive ones. Are you a Type A personality who “needs to do things yourself if they’re going to be done right”? Stop it. Trust family and co-workers to help out with many of the lower-value tasks and share the burden. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at their ability to handle stuff just fine.
Don’t prioritize based on what others give you – base your priorities on each item’s importance for the big picture. Most people don’t take the time to prioritize. They’re usually reactive, so make the effort to be proactive.
3. Increase your awareness Are you always distracted by peripheral things that prevent you from accomplishing anything of significance? Become more aware of how you spend your time and what gets rewarded with your attention. Get into a routine of questioning what you’re doing and why: “Is this really important?” Start to institute changes, bit by bit. Once again, the less important items are candidates to outsource to another person or to just not do.
4. Plan around high-energy times Everyone has a time of day when they’re at their best. For some, it’s early in the morning, when the day is new. For others, the peace and quiet of nighttime enables them to focus better on things. Whenever your peak period is, plan your most important tasks for that time.
5. Leave some blank spots Don’t fill every available time slot. Leave some room for spontaneity and fun stuff. Take a break. Blanks spots aren’t unproductive, in fact, they’re just the opposite. A little down time enables you to recharge, refocus, and get ready to tackle what’s next.
Low-value items can consume a lot of time and effort and begin to cost you happiness. Don’t let the trivial and low-value things have a negative impact on your life and well-being. It’s all about setting the right priorities -- productivity and happiness will follow.
There are many distractions and unimportant activities in life. Learn more ideas about how to keep low-value activities from ruining your life then download the eBook titled "The Secrets to Finding the Internal Compass to Power through Life's Events."