Time management is an important yet misunderstood topic. The reality is people are trying to become more effective and productive, but the issue is really self management. To become more effective, we must learn to manage ourselves and use our time better. There are several simple yet effective tips anyone can learn and implement to become more effective and productive.

Things You Will Need

A spiral notebook or legal pad
A filing cabinet
A bunch of file folders

Step 1

Begin writing in one place and one place only. Use either a spiral notebook or legal pad for all of the things you need to write down: meeting notes, phone conversation notes, phone messages pulled off your voice mail, to-do items and records of items people are doing for you. By writing in one place, you will cut down on the time wasted hunting for loose scraps of paper with phone numbers and to-do items.

Step 2

Create a simple A to Z filing system for the projects you are working on as well as information and items you need to keep. The filing system will help you quickly retrieve the information you need to work with and also keep your work space clutter-free, which increases your efficiency Use the file cabinet and box of file folders to start the filing system. By keeping it simple you will know where to find the things you need.

Step 3

Review the spiral notebook or legal pad with its notes, to-do items and items you are waiting for others to give you. This review will make sure you are getting the things you need to accomplish done and the people you depend on are doing their work as well.

Step 4

Remove the pages that contain notes and file them in file folders in the filing cabinet. This will keep the notebook free from clutter and allow you access the things you need. As you use this system, your lists of things to do and notes increases, but by working the system, it starts to decrease naturally. As you progress you will see that you are reducing pages faster than you are adding then meaning things are getting done and you are becoming more efficient.
While we can not really manage time, we can implement simple systems to make ourselves more efficient. Try this simple system for thirty days and you will see your personal productivity skyrocket. The free time you will have can then be used to work on projects that interest you and for fun things you have always wanted to do.

Tips & Warnings

Remove all other notepads, post-its or loose paper from your work space to ensure you only write in one place. Make your mantra files not piles. When you have something you need to keep, immediately make a file for it and put it into your filing system, do not let it get lost in a pile.