Posted on Apr 28th, 2006

Do you ever get stressed by the sheer amount of work and tasks to be done from day to day? Do you feel that 24 hours in a day is simply too short a time to get things done?

You are not alone! As our society progresses and the pace of life quickens, time is the most precious and scarce commodity. Whether it is things from work or personal stuffs that needs to be done, all you need is to know how to prioritise and organise yourself to get things done right. You would be surprised that a few simple tips will provide you with the tools necessary to accomplish more in less time and of course reduce your stress level at the same time!

In the second part of this series, we will take a look at the importance of planning.

1) In Part 1 of this series, I mentioned prioritising your tasks. When preparing your list of things to do, first write down everything that comes across your mind. The idea is to dump everything from your brain and convert it into writing, continue without editing until you are sure that everything is covered.

2) After you have a whole list of the tasks to be done, select each item according to the following classifications. (1) Critical (2) Quite important (3) Can wait.

3) Go through your list while asking yourself whether it is a (1), (2) or (3), then mark the number beside each task.

4) After that classification is done, drill down each category, for example you have listed 5 tasks as (1), take a look at the 5 tasks and then determine their order of priority. You could mark these tasks as (1)1, (1)2, (1)3 etc. Do the same for category (2) and (3).

5) Always be flexible, sometimes your plan needs to be adjusted as you go along. For example you have set out to accomplish your first task, and it has been delayed due to reasons or circumstances not within your control. You do not have to wait for the task to be done before proceeding to the next. Skip right over to the next one and try to get it done. You can always come back to the undone task.

6) Be mindful of the time needed to complete each task. Take into account the time loss in peripheral activities that need to support your task, these would include, waiting, travelling etc. Be realistic and do not allocate insufficient time for the task to be completed.

In the coming issues, I will be discussing other critical areas that you can consider to adopt into your life for more productivity and less stress. If you have missed any of the past issues, go to get it.

James Tan has dedicated his life to exploring the human mind’s potential in stress management areas after suffering a fatal auto accident, which has been the turning point of his life.

His website contains various tips and advices, including a newsletter ‘Taming the Monkey mind’ and a free 28 part ecourse of stress managing tips.

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