- Learn to say no
The number one time management tool is the word “no”. Learn how to say no effectively. And remember that the most important person to say no to is yourself!
- Be systematic
Good systems are at the heart of being productive. You can’t work creatively if you are constantly having to sort out some mess that has happened because your systems don’t work properly.
- Finish what you start
This is one of life’s most important rules. When you start something you should keep going on it until either you have finished it or it has proved not to be a worthwhile project for you.
- Keep on top
Being on top of your work is one of the best sources of energy. But you can only keep on top of your work if you don’t take on more work than you can do.
- Be very selective about what you take on
This follows on from the previous point. You should only take on what you have time to do properly. You will know when you have taken on too much because you will not be able to keep on top of your work.
- Be persistent
Keep working on something until it is the way you want it to be. And then make sure you can maintain it that way. Things won’t be the way you want them unless you are persistent in aiming for what you want.
- Take remedial action immediately
When something goes wrong, don’t wait around to put it right. Do it now. Nothing drains your energy so much as things which aren’t working correctly, whether they are equipment, systems or projects.
- Be clear about your long-term goals
Your long-term goals are what give direction to your present work. Without them you are just drifting or stuck.
- Don’t be afraid to go out of your comfort zone
Productivity always involves going out of your comfort zone. Remaining in your comfort zone is known as “being in a rut”. If you do the same old thing over and over again you will set it in stone in your life.
- Do first things first
Identify what the most important thing is that you want to do each day and do it first. Then the second and the third. After that you can worry about the routine minor stuff.