By TRAVIS STEFFEN - Special to The Globe and Mail - Monday, Apr. 08 2013
Curated by Duttry
Now, there are tons of apps, online tools and time management methods out there, but it wasn't until I began experimenting with more nontraditional, seemingly archaic means of managing my time that I truly began to harness the full power of time management. 9 unconventional tips that have helped me manage my time far more effectively:
Ditch the smartphone and use a paper and pen. Just because a method is more technologically advanced does not necessarily make it more effective. In my opinion, nothing beats a good old-fashioned notebook and pen – it’s clunky, annoying, inconvenient and therefore difficult to ignore. I could always place my smartphone in my pocket, and I often do. I can’t put my to-do list notebook in my pocket – nor should I. The annoyance factor is what makes it so powerful.
Use a to-do list template. Since your end goal is to manage your time more effectively, it would be ridiculous to spend a ton of time writing out your most common to-do list items each day. I created my own to-do list template which includes all of my daily tasks. This ensures I don’t spend time writing them down, and I can schedule them in with my more unique tasks that I only have to perform today.
Include even the most menial tasks. On your list, you should include every single solitary thing you do during the day that takes up time. Seriously. I’m talking meals, working out, etc. This is not a business task management list, this is a time management list. If you spend time on things you think you’ll remember on your own, still include it.
Prioritize your list items. You can often squeeze three or four things into the same amount of time that it would otherwise take you to accomplish just one.
Start your list with 5 small, easy tasks. If I decide to start my day with five quick, simple tasks before tackling my first large list item, I look down at my list about an hour later and I’ve already made a dent. I feel like I’m on a roll, and I’m more likely to ramp up my productivity for the day.
Include a project management grid. Your to-do list not only serves as a way to manage your time during a specific day, but it also keeps you organized and productive across all your projects. If you’re an entrepreneur, juggling multiple projects is often a challenge, and that’s why most people assume it’s more productive to focus on only one project at a time. I disagree with this assumption. I think that you can truly be more productive by juggling multiple projects – if you manage them all effectively. Include a grid on the back of your to-do list devoted to project management, displaying every project in terms of phases of development (i.e. brainstorming, outlining, etc.)
Use shorthand. I use my own form of shorthand to populate my to-do list.
Make tomorrow’s list before today ends. I take anything I didn't accomplish today and push it to tomorrow, and add new list items in where necessary, based on what tasks I need to perform next. I’ll also then number my first dozen items so I have some direction on what to dive into first.
How about some comments about these ideas!!!!