The Top 10 Ways to Manage your Time

by Mark Forster

This chapter is a free excerpt from The Pathway to Awesomeness.

February 16, 2007

This is a top ten list I sometimes use which focuses on techniques.

1. Don’t prioritize (i.e., don’t decide which activities you are going to well and which you are going to do badly). Instead, select which activities you are going to do properly and get rid of the rest.


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February 16, 2007

This is a top ten list I sometimes use which focuses on techniques.

1. Don’t prioritize (i.e., don’t decide which activities you are going to well and which you are going to do badly). Instead, select which activities you are going to do properly and get rid of the rest.

2. Whenever you find yourself using words like “always” and “never” in connection with a problem (“The data sheets always go missing,” “I never seem to be able to remember the action I agree to take at meetings,” etc., etc.) there is something wrong with the system. Take the time to think through the system so you can put it right for good!

3. Remember Parkinson’s law: Work expands to fill the time available for its completion. If you have too much to do, shorten your working hours. It sounds weird but it works!

4. Always consider the cost of meetings—and only hold or attend ones that provide more value than they cost.

5. Remember that you will work more efficiently with definite and scheduled cut-off points (e.g., breaks, end of work, timed bursts, etc.).

6. Always clear your inbox—both paper and email—completely every day, or if you prefer, several times a day. If you have allowed a backlog to build up, ring- fence it and deal with it as a separate project.

7. Don’t just work at your job. Work on it as well. You should aim to spend at least 20% of your time planning, thinking and strategizing.

8. Schedule your leisure at least as hard as you schedule your work.

9. Never put off starting work on a major project because the deadline seems a long way off—little and often is the rule.

10. Remember every time you take on something new, you have to stop doing something old.

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