For those who followed my August blog ~ Calendar – A measurement in time ~ then you are aware of the principle of what gets scheduled gets done. And, when you schedule a task, an appointment, family time, etc. you are actually preventing chaos and eliminating the stress of time wasters.
What are time wasters? Those activities that keep you active but have absolutely nothing to do with achieving your goals. Be ruthless with time wasters. Develop a mind-set that judges every activity in terms of importance and urgency. Learn to be proactive — think ahead.
Proactive thinking is spending time to anticipation what needs to be accomplished, when you will be able to perform the needed tasks and what are the consequences if you do not follow through. Being proactive requires you to think about the 4W’s and H theory — that is Who, What, Where, When and How.
- Who is involved or impacted by your actions?
- What are the action steps or consequences?
- Where will all this happen?
- When will it happen or when is the deadline?
- How will it get accomplished?
This month’s key factor is PLANNING — anticipating time obligations and the needed preparations to prevent the ‘hurry-up syndrome’ so many people are experiencing in their daily life. Keeping all your appointments and scheduled events (professional and personal) in one place (your calendar) enables you to look ahead to what is on the docket for tomorrow, the rest of the week, the rest of the month… Now you can plan how you will accomplish your priorities. Then, hit the delete button on those things that have no value in your life right now.
An hour of planning saves three to four hours in the execution stage.
An excuse is still an EXCUSE
Have you ever used the phrase, “I didn’t have time to______!” (You fill in the blank.) Well, think about this: If you didn’t have the time to do something now, when do you think you will find the time to do it later? Realistically you do not find time. The clock just keeps ticking away. Get in the habit of using time wisely throughout the day by scheduling and keeping promises.
Now think of all those times you found yourself working late to meet a deadline or rushing to get to an appointment on time. Was it worth the stress, chaos, sleeplessness? Probably not.
Be proactive – PLAN
Is it possible that things don’t get done because you are spending time responding to problems (being reactive) rather than proactive? You have the tools to control how you use your moments, how you manage your day. Those tools and techniques that help you anticipate upcoming events and time constraints include:
- Scheduling in your calendar
- Writing it down on your to-do list
- Utilizing a tickler file system for upcoming events
- Managing emails — incoming and outgoing
- Avoiding procrastination tendencies
- Eliminating stressors and time wasters
- Organizing files to find what you want when you want it
- Setting routines and establishing good habits
- Understanding that less is best
Schedule an hour each week to preview what is ahead and how you can be prepared — proactive. What steps can you take to be better organized? Time is your most precious resource, so don’t waste it. Work smarter by anticipating and planning. Anticipation is the best insurance policy you will ever own.
Have you ever had someone assign a task to you with a deadline, especially when you know other people’s decisions are waiting for your results? If so, then you understand what being accountable means.
You can put the power of accountability to work in your organizing projects just by asking for a little help–no charge. Let me know what you promise yourself that you will do and I will be your accountability partner. If you run into any obstacles along the way, I’ll help you get around them. Being accountable spurs achievement. Try it!