Espresso 34 Getting More Done in a Day

Getting More Done in a Day

There’s always more to do each day than we can possibly do. Having an ongoing to-do list that is never completed is inevitable. We can’t change that, especially as we advance into the Offensive and become busier than ever. But we can get more done each day by working in the spirit and employing tried-and-proven techniques of time management.
If you use your time more efficiently, you’ll be less stressed, you’ll get things done on time and not always be apologizing; you’ll have more time to relax, you can get more sleep and exercise, there will be time for dating and sex, and you’ll live a more professional lifestyle.
Check out these tips. They could make all the difference for you.

What is Time Management?
Time doesn’t discriminate. Regardless of who you are, you can’t recoup it once it’s gone. Your only alternative is to manage the time you have. To be successful at time management, you must be organized and focused. Unlike its name, time management really has little to do with time. It’s really about what you need to do, your results and your ability to remain in control.
Time management requires acting on each task: do it, delegate it, or dump it. Manage your time, and you’ll have less stress, more accomplishments and fewer fires to extinguish.

Establish Good Habits
Chances are that if you find it difficult to manage your time, you’ve slipped into some less-than-desirable habits. Do a few basic things to take back your time:
¥ Hit the big jobs. Schedule large jobs and tackle them first. Once they’re completed, you can fit smaller tasks around them.
¥ Don’t wait. If you delay a task because you think it’ll be easier later, it won’t be.
¥ Keep information together. Use one notebook for to-do lists, ideas, and notes.
¥ Use your peak time. Save difficult tasks for your most productive time of day.
¥ Delegate. Assign work out whenever you can.
¥ Set achievable goals. Setting too-high expectations and falling short is demoralizing. Make sure your goals are realistic.

Create a Productive Environment
Find a quiet place to work. If you need to accomplish a difficult task, work somewhere new-in the library, in a different room or outside.
At your desk, switch off your voicemail and don’t check e-mail until your task is completed.
Get to work an hour earlier. Earlier in the morning [after time spent with the Lord] is a good time to accomplish tasks that you can’t get to with the workday’s interruptions. It’s amazing how much you’ll accomplish in those extra five hours a week.

Lists: The Key to Success
Lists help you focus on which tasks you need to accomplish during the day. Once you write down a task, it’s harder to avoid.
Start your day by creating a list of everything you want to accomplish that day and then prioritizing those tasks as “1” for first priority, “2” for important but not critical, and “3” for tasks that would be nice to accomplish if time allows. No matter how small the task, write it down. You’ll get a tremendous feeling of accomplishment when you cross a completed item off your list.
Build in time for unforeseen circumstances. You don’t want to forego a great opportunity just because it wasn’t on your list, so stay flexible.
Check tomorrow’s schedule each evening. If necessary, adjust it to include today’s still-to-do tasks.

Tackling the Biggies
When you’re hit with a daunting task so big you don’t even know where to start, don’t tackle the whole thing at once. Break the project up into components with incremental goals along the way.
Even if you are tempted to jump from a demanding project to something pleasant, don’t. Multi-tasking is usually self-defeating. Always concentrate on one task at a time until you’ve made significant progress or completed it.

Manage Your Health, Manage Your Time
Put simply, if you are always stressed out, you won’t be able to manage your time effectively. To keep your stress level under control, become aware of what is causing that stress. Try keeping a diary. Each day write down how you feel-happy, sad, frustrated, angry, confident, out of control-and then analyze your emotions. To identify problem areas, think over the situations that caused those feelings. Once you’ve identified the problem, immediately try to fix it. If you ignore it and throw yourself into your work instead, you’re guaranteed to become more stressed and exhausted, and much less efficient.
If you have these symptoms of stress, deal with them immediately: persistent headaches, uncontrolled emotions, memory loss, dizziness, diminished problem solving skills or persistent heartburn or other intestinal issues. The foremost [practical] way to manage stress is by managing your time. Other strategies include learning how to ignore situations that are out of your control, maintaining your health, visualizing success instead of failure, talking about the cause of your stress and taking breaks. Make sure you take your vacation. And laugh, because studies show that laughter lowers your heart rate and blood pressure.
Maintaining your personal life is a crucial part of keeping stress in check. Nurture your relationships, read books, exercise, do things for others and allot time to pay your bills and maintain your house. Each day, make time for quiet reflection. Consider ways to improve your reactions to challenging situations.
All this said, some pressure is good for you. It can give you the kick in the pants you need to accomplish a task to the best of your ability. Just make sure that the pressure doesn’t begin to overwhelm you and force you to lose control.

Learn To Say “No”
Dad: You ought to be willing to stand back and size up the situation and say, “I can do this, but I can’t do that. I must do this, but not that. I need help on this but not that. This is my calling, but not that. These are my talents, but not that. This is what God wants me to do, this, but not that. God wants somebody else to do that.”
Until you are willing to do that and confess there are certain things you can’t do or you’re unable to do that are not your calling or your job and leave those things to others whom God has sent to help you, you are going to become so involved in those things you shouldn’t be doing that you are not going to be able to do the things you should be doing!
That takes humility of the kind that only God can give, because the flesh is not willing to do those things! It’s always vindicating itself, protecting itself, justifying itself and trying to prove it can do it.-The flesh likes to think of itself as all-powerful, all-knowing, all-seeing and that there are no Alps!
It is something we all need to learn: If you’re going to do what God wants you to do and accomplish what only you can do, you are going to have to recognize your limitations.

Plan To Succeed
If you don’t plan, you’re doomed to failure. For effective planning, you need goals, clear lists, concentration and a sense of urgency. Your plan should include:
¥ Long-term strategic plan. Identify goals; list your priorities in relationship to them.
¥ Mid-term. Adjust priorities as necessary mid-way through your long-term plan.
¥ Weekly. Create a weekly to-do list. Block out time to do those tasks.
¥ Daily. Create a to-do list every day.

Peter: We need to be organized both in what we do and how we do it. We have the spirit, yes–the wild, free, revolutionary wind of the Lord’s Spirit–but in order to pass it on to others in this modern world, we have to get it to them in a more organized manner. We have to be much more on top of things.
Efficiency, of which organization is a huge part, is in vogue today–not just for those in the world, but for us as well, because we are in the world, even though we’re not of the world, and we need to keep up with the times in order to be professional delivery boys and girls of the Lord’s messages for today.
Being organized will make you more effective in your professional career as an ambassador of God’s Kingdom, and will set you up for the Lord’s guidance and direction and full anointing. It’s well worth the investment of time it takes to get organized, to “think future,” to assess your modes of operating, and to get on the cutting edge of efficiency in your witnessing and winning.

Avoid Being Over-committed
Being over-committed creates a big drag on your time and your ability to accomplish your goals. It happens when you take on too many tasks. To deal with it, first assess the degree to which you are over-committed and then reduce your commitments to a manageable size. How? Here are five steps:
1. List every activity you have made commitments to do in your professional life and make a second list of every committed activity in your personal life.
2. List everything you should do or really want to do, but aren’t doing.
3. Look at your first lists and decide how important these activities are to you. Consider what you might be able to wiggle out of doing.
4. Create a plan to stop doing what you don’t want to do.
5. Indicate when you will start doing things you should do or want to do (from the list you drew up in point #2).

I give you through the keys the power of a horse-drawn chariot thundering over the sands of time. The horses represent the keys pulling you along. The keys will empower you and help you to cover the ground that you need in the short time that you have. So climb into this chariot and these thundering horses will take you much further and faster than you could ever imagine!-Jesus

Additional Thots (Taken from Kickstart Your Time Management-The Complete Guide to Great Work Habits, by Frances Kay)

*The main cause of procrastination is that the job is either too big or too daunting.
*When the job is both urgent and horrible-do it first!
*Effective stress management is an extension of time management.
*If you are trying to make things happen, imagine success not failure.
*One thing you can’t recycle is wasted time.
*Effective people deal with problems before they become crises.
*Be ruthless with time but gracious with people.

Sam Smith
Sam Smith is an independent Missionary, that has spent 7 years of his life in Africa, trying to spread Jesus' message of love in any way possible. He has been involved with non profit companies distributing educational material, youth counseling, IT education and humanitarian aid work in medical camps. He believes in Jesus in the simple way that the Bible speaks about, without going so far as to "belong" to a denomination, but just wants to do his best with likeminded people to make the world a better place.