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Overwhelmed by your to-do list? 6 fabulous tips for getting stuff done!

by respaced on February 3, 2011

Most of us are busy. Really busy. We wear multiple hats, particularly if we are moms and dads, which means we have a lot of tasks to take care of, errands to run, appointments to keep, people to call, and on and on. How do you keep track of it all?

Here are 6 excellent time management tips from my friend and fellow professional organizer Megan Spears of Disorder 2 Order:

1. Know how you are spending your time.

Where does your time go? Take a day to make a chart starting from the moment you wake up to the minute you go to sleep and write down what you spend your time doing. Analyze where your time goes. You might be surprised to learn you spend 2 hours on the internet each day, for example. You can start allocating your time more wisely once you know where you currently spend it.

2. Know what you are trying to accomplish.

What are your goals and priorities? What is important to you? Have you made time for it in your schedule?

3. Know when your peak energy times are.

And conversely, know when your low energy times. Schedule only easy, fun activities for your low energy times, leaving the challenging tasks for your high energy times. It’s self-defeating to take on a task you hate when you know you have no energy to complete it.

4. Write it down!

No one can keep all of their to-do’s in their memory. Our brains are just not designed that way. It’s essential to write your to-do list down, either electronically or in a paper planner. And keep that planner handy so you can add to your list as you make appointments and come across other tasks that need completion.

5. Group tasks you dislike with tasks you like.

Love your morning cup of joe, but hate paying the bills? Combine the two. Hate folding laundry, but never miss an episode of Glee? Record Glee and only watch it while you are folding laundry. It’s a tried-and-true method for getting through life’s unpleasant tasks.

6. Make time to plan your time.

What good is a planner if you never take the time to update it? Try setting aside 10 minutes every night or every morning to see what you have planned for the day/next day and add on tasks and appointments as they accumulate.

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