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Seven Time Management Tips

Do you often feel that you are running around like a proverbial headless chicken?

Most of us live in a fast paced world where we are constantly bombarded with demands or requests or expectations and sometimes it seems there is not time enough in the day to carry out all the tasks we have allocated for ourselves or worse, that someone else has allocated to us.

Here are some starting tips for getting control of your life and your time.

1. Pause - If you find yourself rushing from one task to another without really thinking, then try to take a quick breather before and between activities to assess what you are about to do next, otherwise you can run the risk of forgetting something important.

2. Plan - a stitch in time saves nine, as the saying goes. If you have a number of different tasks to do, think about what is the best order to do them in:

- If some of the tasks follow on naturally from each other then plan to do them in a logical sequence.

- What are the most important tasks? Make sure you don't run out of time for those!

- Are there any tasks that can be done quickly and easily? Consider getting those out of the way first, but only if you are still sure that you can accomplish the most important tasks in the available time!

3. Take appropriate breaks - you cannot work 24 hours a day. If you overwork you will find that you don't work as efficiently and you will most probably feel very stressed.

4. What are you doing or intending to do that actually doesn't really need to be done at all? - Leave it out!

5. Is there anything you can reasonably delegate to someone else? You may feel that something has to be done by you personally but does it really? Alternatively you may be reluctant to ask someone else to do something for fear of offending them. Either way if you are taking on too much, why not try just once asking someone else to do something that seems within their competence and see what happens?

6. Do something differently - if you are acting out of habit, then make a conscious effort to break the habit and act in a more productive way if on reflection the habitual way of acting is not helpful.

7. Don't beat yourself up - OK, so you have a time management problem. So do many of us. Rather than be hyper self critical because of this, see if you can approach changing your breathless habits as a project or experiment in which you will try out and add to some of the above ideas, building on anything that works for you and adjusting anything that isn't appropriate in your situation.