It is not easy. Not easy at all !
Six months back when I quit my 9 to 9 job and started working independently, I had a vision of my day. I would start my day with an hour long walk, then browse the newspapers, do some miscellaneous work and then from 10 am to 6 pm , I would have the whole day to myself ! I will have a 15 min power nap in the afternoon and then about 20 minute of breathing exercises after 6 and then one hour of reading before going to sleep, I had thought. Ah ! Finally I am the owner of all my time , what a wonderful feeling it was !
But it did not happen that way ! I soon realized that time just passed by and all the things that I had thought that I would accomplish just did not seem to happen. I felt that I was more productive when I worked in the office . It took me about a month to figure out what was wrong.
I had stopped making my To-Do list.
If there is one thing which I have to swear upon for time management, it is the quintessential To-Do list. Here are some tips :
- From daily to weekly : If you are a first time in creating to-do lists, start with a daily list , but eventually broaden it till it covers the full week. This gives a better span for your activities and you will have a good sense of accomplishment when the week is over.
- Write them: Write everything - make sections for official and then personal , sundry etc. Once you get the hang of it, you will see how useful it is for planning and organizing your day
- Prioritize : Once the tasks are written, you should prioritize. First tackle the most difficult one or the one which falls in the second quadrant of time management - important and urgent.
- Cross the completed tasks : Once you have completed a task, cross them on the list or put a big tick mark on it. You will feel really good . Trust me !
- Carry them over : There will always be tasks which will not be done on a particular day. Carry them over to the next day's to do list.
I have practiced creating and following a to-do list and I can guarantee you that once you start , you will be able to gauge the improvement in your productivity.
Give it a shot and see your tasks get done like magic !