Organization isn’t just about having a neat and orderly sock drawer, it’s also important to how our daily lives operate, yes I’m talking about Time Management. I used to think this is something that came naturally to everyone, but it doesn’t. Most people tend to be one of two types of people, a Procrastinating Dreamer or a Disciplined Realist.
The first step many of us take towards managing our time is to create a To Do List. While creating the list is easy, many struggle with prioritizing it. The Procrastinating Dreamer will set out to do more than humanly possible in a day, because they have unrealistic expectations of how long tasks take. In addition they’ll procrastinate starting tasks early enough or complete tasks that are of low priority first. What does this lead to? Panic, disappoint, frustration, late nights finishing projects, sound familiar?
A Disciplined Realist will be more realistic about what they can accomplish in a day. They’ll organize their to do list into four separate sections:
- Daily Tasks: These are tasks that are important for you to complete everyday
- Priority Tasks: These are tasks you MUST DO, first priority.
- Like To Do Tasks: Like to do tasks are just that, tasks you’d like to do, but are not at the top of the priority list.
- Back-burner: Back-burner tasks are tasks that you want done, but are last priority. Most likely they are tasks that require a significant amount of time and attention.
To become a Disciplined Realist be:
- In control: Anyone can provide you a template to organize your time and tasks, but it takes discipline and self-control to stick to the list and maintain your organization.
- Realistic: Don’t be unrealistic about how long tasks will take, otherwise you’ll try to unsuccessful cram too much in one day.
- Flexible. The list you initially created may have add-on tasks that are of higher priority. Learn to be flexible and re-prioritize
- Thorough. There is no nicer way to say this, don’t half-ass tasks. Be thorough and do them right the first time. Why, you may ask? 99.9% of half-assed tasks have to be re-done. In the end, your so-called shortcuts will have only created more work for yourself leading to many unnecessary headaches, more frustration, and less free time.