Are You Suffering From the “Terrible Too’s” ?
Top 10 Tips On How to Manage Them
The Terrible Too’s are a term I coined a few years ago to describe having too much to do and too little time to do it in. In this newsletter I thought I’d share some of the advice I’ve given to clients over the years to help them manage the Terrible Too’s.
1) Goals and Priorities
One of the most effective ways to begin managing the Terrible Too’s is to set goals and determine your top priorities. Make time daily, ideally first thing in the morning, where you can sit quietly to create and review your goals for the day, week, month, and year. Some people like to do that at the end of the day, before they go to bed. Do whatever works best for you. When you are clearer about your priorities you’ll be less likely to get distracted.
2) Time Management
We all have 24 hours in a day. The difference is how we choose to use that time. One exercise I’ve recommended to my clients involves writing down everything they do over a three to five day period. Then we look at it to analyze if they are using their time effectively or wasting it on activities that are not priorities.
3) Focus on Top Priorities
Once you have gone through the exercise of analyzing how you’ve spent your time over the past several days, take a moment to determine if your activities are related to your top priorities. Are the activities moving you closer to your goals and objectives or further away?
4) See, Think, Live Your Priorities
Keeping your top priorities in front of you, literally in front of you, will help you stay focused on the most important things to do. List your top priorities on a white board in your office, carry them on a card in your purse or wallet, keep them on the first page of your daily planner, or on an electronic program.
Now that you have a better idea of what you should be doing, versus not be doing, it’s time to delegate. I tell my clients to live by these words: “Do what you do best and delegate the rest!”
6) Say NO to Multi-Tasking
Study after study shows that multi-tasking is most often NOT an effective way to get things done. The best way to consistently reach your goals and objectives is to start one task and focus on it until it is complete. Use your daily/weekly planner to schedule time for specific items – and stick to that schedule!
Many people have turned to their computers as a tool to help them save time. Unfortunately, some computer programs and Internet activities actually waste your time. Make a list of how you spend your time on your computer or on the Internet. Which things waste your time? Are you spending time on Facebook when you should be returning customer calls? Are you building a new website when you should be prospecting for new clients?
Managing EMAIL can become a very time-consuming and distracting process. I recommend that my clients set specific times for checking and responding to email. If you do this for just a few days I think you’ll be amazed at the results. After 21 days it will become a habit.
9) Ask: “What’s More Important?”
Distractions are inevitable, that’s just how it is. But what you can do when distractions occur is be more discerning as to whether the task you’re working on, or the interruption, is the top priority. Based on my years of experience working with clients, in the majority of cases, interruptions can usually wait, or wait long enough so that a more highly prioritized task can be completed.
Most people focus on what they have not done and do not give themselves credit for their accomplishments.
The human mind responds to incentives. As a result, you’ll find you are more fulfilled if you reward yourself for completing your prioritized goals and objectives than if you do not . You should reward yourself for your accomplishments. It might be as simple as going out for an ice-cream! It could be a round of golf on Friday afternoon, or maybe a walk in the park after you’ve accomplished what you set out to accomplish for the week. Whatever the case, rewards are an important part of managing your time as well as your life!