Friday, April 4, 2008

Time is on Your Side--Ways to Prioritize and Organize

I am finding life is becoming more fulfilling, challenging and interesting lately. I think a lot of people who are motivated and very busy can easily get overwhelmed in the number of things that are to "get done." How do you stay on top of all of your clients, your co-workers, friends, family...?

This week has been very interesting and rewarding as I made some changes to my organization system so that I could be better at keeping track of my goals and making meetings on time. Tasks are boring, but goals are always interesting.

1) The Zenhabits Most Important Tasks rule. You will always have to decide on whether something can be done now or later. Of course you don't want to base it on what you FEEL like doing, because there isn't much reward in that. Just don't be surprised if your dishes don't get done right away...unless that is a Most Important Task for you. (On that note, I stick my dishes in the dishwasher to save time and water.)

Also, there are things that I don't schedule anymore, like if I am going to meet a friend or have an informal meeting, I am a little more relaxed about the time. I think that also makes my friends feel more relaxed and then everyone is happy.

2) Don't get sidetracked. It's easy to pull up your e-mail if you're doing something very uninteresting, but it's actually better to set times up when you check your e-mail rather than doing it throughout the day.

Also props to Remember the Milk for creating a really cool plugin for Firefox & Gmail so that when I wake up in the morning and check my e-mail, all my to-dos are right there next to my e-mail. It's like having my own personal assistant tell me what I should be doing instead of checking my e-mail.

3) Have an emergency toolkit for on-the-go occasions. Sometimes I have day trips to San Francisco and I am overly prepared on those days. I keep extra pens and pencils in my bag, my laptop, iPod nano, porfolio with a notepad, laptop, lunch, snack, everything! It makes it easier to keep all supplies in one bag so that when I do go mobile, I have my entire toolkit on me.

The result: At the end of the week, I am less stressed, happier, and more productive. Now, one more yoga class for the week and I will have done as much as I could--without stressing myself out, because extra stress is the last thing anyone wants.

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