Are you feeling EXHAUSTED at the end of your work day because you “Just did not have enough time to get everything done”? If so, you are a novice at using your time wisely.

Before we jump into the heart of this Nugget, let’s agree that you can’t get everything done in the time management wants. If you did, or could, then I’d have to ask about the level of competency of your management team.

A great management team assigns way too much work for the very reason that only the most resourceful of employees will be able to meet the corporation’s needs by completing only the most important tasks, not every task assigned.

For YOU it boils down to thinking smarter and using your time more wisely. But how can you do that?

Here you go. Here’s a checklist to helping you transition from a novice at time and responsibility management to a GRANDMASTER:

  1. Recognize that you can’t do it all, and, certainly, can’t do all of it 100% to completion.
  2. The above point requires you to pick your priorities. Then write them down where they will be visible until they are completed.
  3. Use the 20:20 principle. Both of the above requires you to decide which 20% of your objectives you will relegate to TOP as “Must-Do” projects. Then for each project you must develop a list of the top 20% of tasks/activities which you “Must-Do”. [Search this website for more information about the Pareto concept…in a nutshell, 20% provides 80% of the result.]
  4. Before you begin a task or project, take a few minutes to THINK. Think about points 1 through 3, above, and then about all the other points below…So, stop jumping into a task or project with the notion that you will think your way through it as the task or project unfolds.
  5. Don’t dwell on the past. Don’t let your thoughts or your confidence ebb by draining your attention with any issues that may have presented themselves in the past but, now, are not part of the project at hand.
  6. Collect like tasks. What tasks are similar enough that you can do your mental set up just one time. Set up is a great time waster. It wastes time in tiny amounts. If you can visualize a carpenter using one tool for a task then having to cart that tool away to make room to set up another tool to use for the task. Then taking away that tool and setting up the first tool again. People do the equivalent with their minds.
  7. Block your time to work on those like tasks. For example, make your phone calls to executives of other corporations from 6:30 am to 7:30 am. Work on the most urgent matters to assign tasks to others from 7:30 to 8:30. Respond to customer inquiries from 8:30 to 10:00…and so on.
  8. Decide only one time per task/item. You should not afford yourself the luxury of having a “Do Later” folder. If you touch it, decide what to do with it.
  9. No person is an island. Don’t be so arrogant as to assume you must possess all the facts/data to make a proper decision about everything. Taking action when you know your data is incomplete leads to re-work, major errors, or worse, any of which wastes time and often is a major drain upon resources, from people resources to financial resources. If in doubt, ask someone who likely has the information or can steer you to someone who does.
  10. Keep up to date with technology. Learn and use the latest equipment, theory or science, any innovations that can help you to accomplish more without increasing your effort once you have acquired it or learned how to use and apply it.
  11. Now, here’s your MOST EFFECTIVE TECHNIQUE: delegation. Can you ENLIST OTHERS to do some of your tasks? Is there anyone with more expertise, more efficiency, than you, who you can enlist?
  12. Sow respect and cooperation throughout your organization. You never know when you will need the help of someone to whom you have previously and consistently extended the courtesy of treating them like a valuable human being during every encounter. But if you are a snob, or a “back-stabber”, others will only be too happy to watch you struggle when they could have been helpful.