Courtesy of UWA:
Make active decisions about your long term priorities (if your Masters or PhD is not in one of the top 2 or 3 priorities in your life, it probably won’t get done)
Learn to say “no” if something is not contributing to the highest (long-term) priorities you have.
Be fastidious about your time. Keep a time log for 48 hours, and know how you actually spend your time. When planning work, think in 10 minute blocks; the (10+2)*5 technique may be useful here.(http://myresearchspace.grs.uwa.edu.au/blogs/karenhalls_blog/archive/2006/12/05/10-2-5.aspx)
Remember the “80/20” rule. 80% of your results come from only 20% of what you do. Identify and give high priority to the “20%” tasks. Distinguish between what you MUST do, what you should do and what it would be “nice” or “interesting” to do. Identify tasks that can be delegated to someone else and eliminate tasks that don’t contribute to your priorities at the moment.
Use time management tools
a. Have a master list of all the things you need to do. Buy a spiral notebook, and use it as your catch-all system. You can then prioritise tasks and allocate them to different times, days, etc in your calendar and daily list.
b. Calendar (yearly planner, diary)
c. Daily list – this is your blueprint from the beginning to the end of the day. Check it against your priorities, 80/20s etc. Never work without a daily list, and prepare it the night before so that your subconscious can work on it while you sleep.
NB: People who work from lists are 25%more productive than those who do not. The time management matrix below is a useful template on which to build your daily list.
Always allow yourself 30% more time than you think you need for any task. Very productive people are not in a panic, but allow enough time to do the job right.
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