Mareus News Blog

Too Busy for Time Management?

June 28th, 2012

  Time management is probably the wrong term really, as time doesn’t change, but how we use our time, how we fill our days at work or at home, can definitely change, if we choose to make the effort.

Whatever you call it… how we manage our day, and our “things to do” has a very big impact on the lifestyle we live.

Do you find you can get overwhelmed by all the little bits and pieces you would like to do, or think you should do, or someone else said you should do…. and suddenly you feel like you will never get it all done… and what’s the point? Or do you keep trying to do it all, which is grand until something cracks (health, patience, relationship, or you start making mistakes)?

A lot of the time these bits and pieces are just distractions, or crutch activities, and they keep you away from achieving your main goals in life… e.g. more time with family, researching a new business venture, travelling the world, starting a hobby, improving your health and fitness… whatever floats your boat.

In interviews when asked how they plan their working day, most candidates mention making a tick list of some sort just before they end their shift or on the morning of their next shift. Not a bad idea depending on how you put that tick list together.

Completing a long tick list of little things to do can give a sense of achievement at the end of the day, but does it really make a difference if you create an audit list of all the various sized staples in the stationery room before you put in the next stationery order when the printer is running out of paper?

Are you putting to much focus on feeling efficient rather than being effective in completing your work and chasing your goals?


Believe it or not your “To do list” shouldn’t really have more than one or two priority tasks on it each day, and these things should be the important things, actions that have a clear impact on what you are trying to achieve. Also, your “to do list” should be achievable in the day ahead… if it’s not… you might feel overwhelmed and unsuccessful at the end of the day, or by the end of the week.


Sit down this evening, and pick the few key actions you need to achieve tomorrow, the impact actions, the ones that will make a difference to you and your goals, and put that on your “IMPACT LIST”. Forget the rest for now (the fiddly bits, the things that are nice to do, but you haven’t been asked to do), if they become important they can go on the shortened list in the future. Stick with the plan tomorrow…

Once you have your “IMPACT LIST” completed, stop working, finish on-time, go out and treat yourself how best you like… maybe a walk in the park, reading a book, a trip to the cinema, helping someone else out, whatever makes you happy! It’s all about balance.

In other words…
“The Main Thing is to Keep The Main Thing The Main Thing”
~ Stephen Covey

If you are interested in reading more on increasing your effectiveness maybe check out one or both of the following two books… there are some great practical tips in them and they’ve given me plenty to think about!

“The 4-Hour Work Week” by Timothy Ferris and “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen R. Covey

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