In this article I will discuss a time management strategy and an accountability strategy that, when applied together, make sure that you finish your most important tasks for the day and leave you feeling a sense of accomplishment. I will first discuss what each of these strategies are, and then I will discuss the steps on how to put these strategies to work for you. Finally, I will suggest another time management strategy that I recommend you learn more about to save even more time and increase your sense of accomplishment even more.
Time Management Strategy
To manage your tasks efficiently, a proven time management strategy is making a to-do list, prioritizing your most important tasks to finish, and completing those tasks first. There is no rocket science to this strategy–all that it asks of you is to figure out exactly what tasks you need to get done. Then it asks you to number, rank, assign importance to those tasks.
To increase your sense of accomplishment as you management your tasks, there is a simple accountability strategy you can use–recording your accomplished tasks. When you finish completing a task, no matter how big or small, you can write/record that you have finished it, giving you an instant sense of accomplishment and provides motivation to move on to successfully complete your next task.
How to Use These Together
Managing your time and increasing your sense of accomplishment is fairly simple once you follow these seven steps to implement both of these strategies together. First, you will use the time management strategy, and then, before moving on to accomplish your next task, you will complete the accountability strategy described above. Once finished with both, repeat the entire process to continue productively managing your time and feelings of accomplishment.
Step 1: Write Down Your Tasks to Be Completed–When using the prioritization strategy for time management it’s important to know everything that you feel you need to accomplish before beginning to prioritize what tasks will make you feel most accomplished. To do this write down or type everything that you need to do to feel that you are done with your work for the day period delete be as specific as possible. Finally try to group tasks into tasks and sub-tasks.
Step 2: Prioritize Your Top Tasks–Once you have written all of the tasks you need to complete it’s important to review your list closely to identify which three to five tasks to prioritize. An easy way to prioritize tasks is by asking yourself, “what would happen if I finish this task today?,” and “what would happen if I did not finish this task today?” Whichever task has the most benefits to finishing and/or the most drawbacks to not finishing the task should be most highly prioritized.
Step 3: Choose the Correct Task to Actively Work On–Once you have prioritized your top tasks, choose the task that upon completion, will make you feel as though you were highly productive, and if possible, will make you feel accomplished for the day–even if you did not complete anything else. This is the first task you should attempt to complete.
Step 4: Complete the Task–Once you have prepared to complete your prioritized task, it is time to take action and actually complete your task. If you have trouble finishing the task in one sitting, try setting a timer for a certain period of time, taking a five-minute break when the timer goes off, and then refocusing on completing the task once your break is over.
Step 5: Taking Out Your Achievement Tracker–When you have fully completed the task at hand, it is time to take out your achievement tracker. You achievement tracker is simply a dated list of tasks and responsibilities that you have completed. Your tracker should be easily accessible, such as in a notebook or journal you keep in your work environment, or in a document that can be easily located and re-saved on your computer.
Step 6: Use Your Achievement Tracker–When you have your achievement tracker, you should write down the name and a short description of the task you just completed. A short description, particularly of more complex tasks, will make your achievement tracker more meaningful and motivating as you give yourself “extra credit” or a description, of what work and effort you had to put in just to accomplish completing that particular task.
Step 7: Repeat–When you finish with your task and updating your achievement tracker, you can now repeat this process–starting on the third step and working on your next most highly prioritized task.