How to Manage Your Time

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How to Manage Your Time. Computers and the Internet were supposed to make life easier; instead, people are busier than ever. Whether you are single or juggling family responsibilities, learn to manage your time to get as much as you can out of each day.

Create a schedule or to-do list. Write down deadlines for accomplishing certain tasks.

Plan to tackle difficult projects at the times of day when you are most alert.

Schedule time for people, including yourself. Create some personal time by waking up half an hour earlier or going to bed half an hour later than usual; plan a weekly date with your spouse, or arrange to have lunch with friends.

Prioritize what you need to accomplish. "Pareto's principle" states that 80 percent of your accomplishments come from 20 percent of your efforts, so think strategically: Locate and isolate this valuable 20 percent, then focus your efforts on the tasks that promise the greatest rewards.

Delegate as many chores as you can. Hand out projects to subordinates at work, recruit your children to help with household chores, hire a gardener to maintain your lawn.

Learn to say no to nonessential demands on your time. Don't volunteer for a committee if you don't have time, and decline invitations to events you don't have time to attend.

Overcome procrastination.

Avoid perfectionism. Don't waste time obsessively perfecting a task when you could better spend the time on something else.

Tip

See Related eHows for more specific instructions to help you accomplish the steps above. There are many computer programs to help you keep track of projects, and keep you organized. Scout out some online sites or local computer stores to find a program that works well for you.

Warning

Sometimes being too efficient can make you lose track of why you need extra time in the first place. Don't be so intent on scratching things off your to-do list that you don't take time for fun.

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