I believe the key to effective time management is having a PLAN. Once you have done that, communicate your plans to others involved in your life (those nearest and dearest to you), or those people working with you in business. 1. Prioritise your goals. Set up the following: * A weekly plan: Plan for a week at a time. * A 'don't forget' list. * A 'what now' list. 2. Focus on the important things - the things that really matter to you. 3. Throw out irrelevant bits of paper. 4. No matter what pressure you are under, try to control your stress level at all times. 5. Control interruptions (even a 'closed door' policy is not a bad thing). 6. Don't procrastinate. 7. Prepare a reminder list of essential details. 8. Plan to get the routine tasks out of the way as quickly as possible. 9. Develop routines. Ask yourself this question: can any (procedures) be eliminated or speeded up? 10. Focus on one task at a time. N.B: 10. Pat yourself on the back each day by reviewing your accomplishments. 11. Self monitor and self evaluate your progress on the way to your goals. 12. Set and keep deadlines for yourself and others (Don't "interrupt" yourself). 13. Learn to say "no" to others' demands. 14. Slow down for success. 15. Distinguish the really urgent from the seemingly urgent. Sort out low priority work. Put it aside for later or eliminate it totally. 16. Encourage others to get to the point on the telephone or at meetings. Without being too rude, of course! Waffle less (I love 'em), yourself! 17. Respond less formally, but with more speed, eg. a hand-written compliments slip rather than a typed letter. 18. Make time for yourself to relax; because this recharges the batteries. 19. Delegate for success. Ask yourself the question: Is this only something I can do? If not, to whom can the work be appropriately assigned? Is this person prepared now, or does he/she need further instruction to complete the task efficiently? 20. Provide clear and realistic expectations. Keep only the paper you need on your desk (if you are lucky enough to have a desk, that is!). Clear out irrevelant files. A tidy mind is an effective mind, but tidy desks are really rarely creative. Thank goodness I have an excuse then! 21. Communicate clearly to your sub-ordinates and co-workers. Hard if you are at the bottom of the barrel, like me! Get messages across clearly the first time. 22. Set aside time to mentally regroup, to think and to plan. Very important. Review progress regularly to see which plans are working and which ones aren't. Work with individual players and set aside time for individuals. Remember everyone is a unique individual with their own needs. 22. Have direction. Believe in yourself and what you are trying to accomplish. Review your skills periodically and pat yourself on the back with your progress to date. 23. Take time out occasionally to assess your progress towards your goals and review where you are headed. Re-assess the effectiveness of your personal time management strategies. 24. Rest often with mini-breaks (Winston Churchill used this technique often taking "cat-naps"). Take care of your body and your mind - it's the only one you've got. Finally (and most importantly), 25. Enjoy the journey down "the river of life" and BE HAPPY. Craig Lock