You probably have 1,000 things to do on your plate. If you add up the hours it would take to accomplish them all there are literally not enough hours in the day. This causes stress and can make you feel overwhelmed or like you’re not doing “it” right. It can even lead to burnout. That is why time management tips are for you.
Here is some great news. All those things on your plate are not equally important. And, to feel great you only need to focus on getting the most important thing done first, each day.
Accomplishing the most important thing first, sets you up for success throughout the day. Ultimately, every successful day builds to a successful week ,month, and year. This leads to days, weeks, and months you can feel great about. Every day you go to bed, feeling great about the day, builds toward a full and joyful life.
Benefits of This Time Management Tip
Automation of Managing Your Time Wisely
When you do the most important thing first you automatically manage your time wisely throughout the rest of the day. If you get that important thing done right away, before life starts to set in, you will be less likely to be distracted by the unplanned things that come up each day and more likely to actually finish the important thing.
When you get the most important thing done first, you no longer have to fret about if you’ll get to getting the most important thing done. Say you get that thing done by noon. Well, for the rest of the day you can continue to check off the boxes on your to-do list with a lot of ease, knowing if you don’t get through the list it’s OK. It’ll be OK because the most dire thing has already been accomplished.
Getting the most important thing done early in the day leaves you feeling confident and motivated. Once you have climbed the proverbial mountain everything else is a walk in the park.
Why Do the Most Important Thing First?
Getting the most important thing done first each day, helps you to be more consistent. When you consistently work on important things first, you will accomplish important things more often.
Setting Up Your To Do List
When you look at your to do list, the most important things on that list should have to do with you. Getting the most important thing done first means you are getting the things that matter most to you done first. Taking care of your needs first, allows you to be at your best to help others. That is why this is one the best time management tips for working moms. Following this tip is also a form of self-care.
It’s easy for us to put others needs ahead of our own and to focus on those things before we focus on the things that we need to thrive in life. Often times we think about getting things done for others with a false sense of urgency, putting pressure on ourselves to meet imaginary deadlines for tasks that don’t add much value to our very own lives.
It’s much less likely that you actually need to achieve these things as fast as you think. It’s also much less likely that these things are going to help shape your life the way you want. On the flip side, if you achieve the most important things in your life first, you will be automatically building the life of your dreams. That is why this is one of the most important time management tips.
How To Get the Most Important Thing Done First (More Time Management Tips)
Now, it is easier said than done to get the first to get the most important thing done first. Here are a few tips to help you along the way.
Block time so that you know when you’ll start working on this most important task. Working on the most important task first, doesn’t mean jumping right to it the moment that you get out of bed. You need to go through your morning routine. Everyday you need to take care of the kids and get yourself together before you start working on that task. That’s OK. Blocking time means setting a time for when you’ll begin and end the task. Maybe it’s 8:00AM or 9:00AM or even 10:00 AM just make sure that before you start doing other things like emails or small work assignments, you first complete this most important thing.
If for some reason the most important thing isn’t something that you can start working on first ( this can happen) start working on the things that will set you up to complete it ASAP. Still, set a time when you will start working on that task. For example, if you need to do research before writing a paper/presentation, make sure that you do the research first and block starting that paper by 10 AM.
Shut Down Email
Turn off the email notification. Before you begin working on the task, turn off your email notification so that you aren’t distracted by ongoing pop-ups. It’s way too easy to fall into the trap of seeing an email and thinking that you urgently need to respond. Those pop-ups also cloud your brain and inhibit your ability to focus on the task at hand, which is the most important thing for you that day. The emails can wait.
Shut Down Your Phone
Put your phone on airplane mode and get the job done. If you work in an industry or have some type of an ongoing emergency where you can’t shut your phone down for an hour, then turn off the ringer and silence your notifications. The same logic applies to this tip as for shutting down email notification. You do not want to be distracted.
Set an End Time
Set a time to finish the task by. Don’t give yourself days to complete the task. While what you’re working on is the most important thing for the day it is highly unlikely it’s the only thing that you need to get done that day. Set a deadline. Will it take one hour, two hours, three hours?
Set a deadline and then fill up that time from when you start until the deadline with completing the task. Don’t multitask. Just work on your task until the deadline time
Caring Accountability (One of the Most Effective Time Management Tips)
Tell someone by when you will finish the task. Share your deadline with someone so that you have an obligation not only to yourself but also to another person to complete the task. This helps you to be accountable. It sounds crazy but we are often more likely to be accountable to others that we are to ourselves. Make that promise to yourself but also make that promise, that you will complete the task by a certain time, to someone else you don’t want to let down.
Choose a Reward
Pick a small way to celebrate when you’re done. It might not seem like one of the the most obvious management tips, but it can make all the difference if you achieving. You should have something to look forward to at the end of your deadline. It can be something small since you’ll be doing it every day. That small thing can also be something good for you. Here are a few examples of ways to celebrate at the end of your task:
Take a walk around the block and get some fresh year air.
Have a nice cup of tea
Call a friend
Give yourself a good stretch
Have a fancy soda water with a lime in it
It doesn’t really matter what the celebration or reward is just make sure that you have one.
Take Action With These Time Management Tips
Now, it’s time to take action. Have you completed the most important task for the day already? If not, stop reading this right now and go and start working on that. Set a time for when you will finish it and get it done.
If you’ve already done the most important thing for today, then think about what the most important thing you need to do tomorrow is , write it down and write down what time you will work on it. Also, write down how you will celebrate. You can download the printable worksheet below and use that as a template for your most important thing to do list.
If you are looking for a better way to manage your to-do list, check out this article.