Time-management principles

Here are some of Diana Silcox's basic principles for using time effectively: * List your goals. Set your priorities. Then plan your strategy for accomplishment. Determine your own quality-of-life values and rank them in order of personal importance, such as family, career, good friendships, financial security.

* Make a daily To-Do list of about half a dozen items, ranked in priority, and with built-in space for the unexpected.

* Be willing to tackle the "tough" jobs first, not last.

* Don't continue doing what others might be able to do as well, or even faster and better.

* When you delegate jobs to children, spouses, or employees, give clear, simple instructions and state your deadlines. Assign work that will strech capabilities, share responsibilities, and make others feel a useful part of the team.

* Make a night-before plan for the clothes you will wear and for the tasks you must do the first thing in the morning.

* Plan ahead for your absence from home or office and plan what others should be doing while you are away.

* Eliminate as many meetings as possible. When you have them, begin and end on time.

* Be punctual. Do not procrastinate, but do arrange blocks of uninterrupted time for doing big jobs. And tackle them at peak-energy periods.

* Utilize odd moments of time spent in taxicabs, beauty shops, waiting rooms, and restaurants by keeping stamped post cards and note paper in purse or briefcase for jotting notes to friends and family. Carry a pad of paper for writing lists and plans, and sketching out memos. And keep reading matter at hand for making the most of small, here-and-there chunks of time.

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