Of all the subject areas we address here at SSG, one I’m really passionate about is time management. Here’s a baker’s dozen of my favorite tips for daily productivity.
- Get up early. Sleeping in is fun, but should be an occasional treat. Jesus’ example of early rising is worthy of imitation. (Trouble getting up early?)
- Eat breakfast. Kick start the metabolism. Cereal and fruit is easy and nutritious.
- Spend time with God first. Have your quiet time first. Get your spirit in a place of peace and adoration before you tackle the day.
- Plan your day. Grab your calendar, and look through what’s on tap for the day: classes, work schedule, appointments, etc. Don’t forget about long term project that you need to be working on. Read ahead for classes if you can.
- Make a quick to-do list of things you want to get done that day.
- Prioritize. Choose two or three items that are the most important for you to get done that day. No more than three!!
- Hit it early. Try to accomplish your most important task by 11:00am.
- Utilize down time. If you have a spare ten minutes in your day, go to your list, and find items that will take 2 minutes or less to do, and plow through a few. (Pay bills online, make a phone call, return an email, etc.)
- Make time for relationships. Life is not fundamentally about tasks; it’s about relationships. One of the reasons we want to organize our days productively is so we can dispatch tasks and have time for relationships. Whether it’s coffee or phone call with a friend, a walk with your wife, or playing with your kids, a productive day includes relationship time. Don’t let the urgent crowd out the important!
- Beware of time wasters.
- Set yourself up for success tomorrow morning. Set up the coffee maker, make your lunch, set out clothes, tidy up a bit… a few minutes of prep tonight can make for a smooth launch in the morning.
- Wind down. Leave some time to wind down at the end of the day-with a book, your spouse, or in prayer.
- Go to bed. “He gives sleep to those He loves.” Avoid the lure of screen time (TV or computer), which can keep you up too late and rob you of needed sleep. Be done with all that early in the evening, and get to bed on time, if not early.
What’s your favorite daily time management hack?