Archives for posts with tag: Time management

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I found this fantastic article on Forbes.com and I never knew Ben Franklin could be a master of politics and self-development?! His humility in accepting his flaws is refreshing and better yet his constant effort to improve himself is admirable.  Mr. Franklin has inspired me to try his approach in achieving my own good habit goals.

The article applies Mr. Franklin’s method with time management habits which will definitely be included on my goal list.  Without further ado here is the article…

Twelve Time Management Habits to Master.

Nearly three hundred years ago, Benjamin Franklin came up with an approach to changing habits that has yet to be surpassed. A young adult seeking to straighten out his act, Franklin developed a list of thirteen virtues, jotting down a brief definition of each. These were character traits he took to be important, but in which he found himself lacking. He knew that nurturing these habits would bring about positive change in his life.

Starting at the top of the list, Franklin spent one week working on each virtue. In the morning he thought about how he would reinforce the new habit throughout the day. During the day he looked at his notes to remind himself of the new habit. At the end of the day, he counted how many times he fell back into the old habit.

While Franklin was surprised at first to see how “faulty” his behavior was, he was so resolved that he pressed on, working through the entire list in a thirteen-week cycle, and completing four such cycles in a year. As for results, he noted in his autobiography that while perfection was unattainable, he could see big improvements.

Modern psychologists recognize three key elements in Franklin’s three-hundred-year-old procedure for changing habits:

  1. He started out committed to the new behavior.
  2. He worked on only one habit at a time.
  3. He put in place visual reminders.

Applying Benjamin Franklin’s Method

Here are 12 time management habits for the new year. Tailor these as you like, but whatever you do, work on one each week using Benjamin Franklin’s method:

Habit 1: Strive to be authentic. Be as honest with yourself as you can about what you want and why you do what you do.

Habit 2: Favor trusting relationships. Put your efforts into building relationships with people you can trust and count on, and make sure those same people can trust and count on you.

Habit 3: Maintain a lifestyle that will give you maximum energy. Work your way up to doing aerobic exercise at least three times a week, eating a light lunch, and getting enough sleep.

Habit 4: Listen to your biorhythms and organize your day accordingly. Make it a habit to pay attention to regular fluctuations in your physical and mental energy levels throughout the day; and based on what you learn, make adjustments to how you schedule tasks.

Habit 5: Set very few priorities and stick to them. Select a maximum of two things that are your highest priority, and plan time to work on them.

Habit 6: Turn down things that are inconsistent with your priorities. Get good at saying no to other people, and do so frequently.

Habit 7: Set aside time for focused effort. Schedule time every day to work on just one thing.

Habit 8: Always look for ways of doing things better and faster. Be on the lookout for tasks you do over and over again, and look for ways of improving how you do them.

Habit 9: Build solid processes. Set up processes that last and that run without your attention.

Habit 10: Spot trouble ahead and solve problems immediately. Set aside time to think about what lies ahead, and face all problems as soon as you can.

Habit 11: Break your goals into small units of work, and think only about one unit at a time. Spend most of your time working on the task in front of you, and avoid dreaming too much about the big goal.

Habit 12: Finish what’s important and stop doing what’s no longer worthwhile. Don’t stop doing what you considered worth starting unless there’s a good reason to give it up.

Article written by Pat Brans – sourced from Forbes.com

What other habits can you guys think of applying Mr. Franklin’s method to?   Look forward to your comments:-)

xo Ash

 

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Lucille, your face says it all for me!

The all too familiar dilemma: to procrastinate or to be productive

I have to admit that I am a natural procrastinator.  On a daily basis, I am having to make the hard decision of whether to procrastinate or take action with my time.  When I manage to get over that tall thick wall of procrastination, the amazing feeling that I am rewarded with on the other side is outstanding.  It could be something as simple as when I am sitting on the couch after a long days work. I think to myself instead of being a couch potato, I could be putting away my pile of laundry that has been sitting there for 5 days as well as put my framed photos up in the spare room that I’ve been meaning to do for months now.

The constant daily struggle that I think many others can relate to is struggling to wake up as soon as the alarm clock goes off in the morning.  I even give myself a pep talk the night before, “OK Ash, you are going to wake up right away so you can take your time getting ready in the morning, play with kitties before work and even have time for breakfast at home!”  But then morning comes and the snooze button is taken advantage of way too many times and I’m left with a scarce amount of time to get ready.

Whether its having to study for a school exam, start a long report at work, or do the laundry, I always end up feeling frustrated with myself when choosing the procrastination side.  We all know how much better it feels when we choose to be productive with our time, so why is it that we still choose to procrastinate???  It could be that in the moment, it feels worth it for those extra 20 minutes of in-and-out sleep, or it could be that we are having to do things we don’t enjoy and therefore we try to avoid it as long as possible.

I think where my irritation really lies with this predicament is that most of the time when I choose to get over those excuses running though my head that paralyzes me from accomplishing what I need/ should do, I feel so good once I get started on the task and feel even better once its complete.  It is a this point when I think to myself, why don’t I always decide to get off my derriere and just get er done?  Then I shake my head in disgust at the procrastinator devil sitting on my shoulder.  Whenever I manage to get up straight after my alarm goes off the first time, I feel like like I can conquer the world and walk out of the house with my sassy pants on and a big smile for all to see.

OK so for all those that can relate to me, here are a couple of inspirational tips to get us across the line from procrastination to productive living.

  • Block out the negative irrational thinking – Whenever you have those negative poor excuses running through your head 1) block them out STRAIGHT AWAY 2. instead stop thinking all together and just get up and start doing the task at hand.  I guarantee within minutes you’ll begin to feel in the groove.

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  • Think of the end result – If the above fails and you continue to make up irrational justifications of why you can procrastinate, start imagining how it will feel once your done the task.  For example, if its a big essay due in a few days, visualize yourself  completing it  a day early and that awesome feeling once you’ve printed it off and its ready to be submitted.  You may even get time to go out with your friends to that concert the night before its due since your a day ahead!

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  • Make a “To-Do” List – sometimes we have too many things running through our heads that we feel overwhelmed and confused.  This causes procrastination to kick in because in the moment its easier to just turn it all off, isn’t it?  Chances are by writing out your tasks/responsibilities, it takes the stress away from your brain, makes you feel more organized and ultimately makes doing the tasks more easy and realistic to achieve.

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  • Set a time goal – What I try to do every Saturday first thing  is write down all the house chores, crafts, cooking, etc. that I need to do in order, and then I set a time estimate for each task.  This motivates me to start right on the mark and stay within the timeline of each task.  I always feels good once it is all complete and almost always finish in the time I challenged myself to do it.

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  • Reward yourself – Make sure you give yourself a pat on the back when your in super productive mode.  This is a big motivational tool for me to start a task.  For example, lets say that I am hosting a 5pm dinner for friends and there’s a lot to be done beforehand.  But its only 11am and therefore my procrastinating thoughts begin to roll.  This is where I tell myself that if I start now, I will get everything done with 2 hours to spare which will give enable me to treat myself to sitting back and reading a few chapters of my most recent book I’ve been wanting to catch up on.

Reward-Yourself

Does anyone else have any tips they can add?  I’d love to hear them.

Ash