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Software Engineering, Project Management, and Effectiveness

Time Management Tips #18 - Do It Now

Time Management Tips #18 - Do It Now

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A little bit now, saves a lot of time later.

One of the worst ways to bury yourself with endless tasks is to keep postponing.  Every task you postpone means follow up.  That means overhead.  It's like constant paper shuffling.

You've heard the saying, "Don't put off until tomorrow what you can do today."  If tomorrow is for everything you didn't do today, is that what you want tomorrow to really be about?

Time management tips #18 is do it now.  It's really a shift in mindset.  Rather than automatically push things to later, start trying to get things off your plate now, as fast as possible.  Think of it as "getting the ball out of your court" or "clearing your plate."

What makes this work especially well, is when you combine it with effectively prioritizing, identifying what is important, working on things that will be valued, and focusing on the essentials.

What you don't want to do is keep the flood gate open.

Doing a little now, is often better than a lot later, or none later, or being overwhelmed later. Another key is practicing the 80/20 rule.  Focus on the 20% that's the most important.  Focus on the essentials.  If you do the minimum really well, you will learn to improve your quality.  You will also learned what is truly valued.  You will then create more time for improving things, instead of getting mired in things up front.

This approach of "Do It Now" works well for a few reasons:

  1. You stop the constant task shuffling
  2. You build your confidence by completing tasks
  3. You feel your progress, and this builds momentum.
  4. You practice doing the essential now, versus over-engineering it later.
  5. You practice the art of "prioritizing on your feet."

Trim tomorrow’s “To-Do” list by doing things today.

For free time management training , check out 30 Days of Getting Results, and for a time management system check out Agile Results at Getting Results.com.

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