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In a blink of an eye, just over 1/52nd of 2017 has passed by, and we’re already back into the post-holiday routine. Suddenly and unexpectedly, the work that built up while we were in the pre-holidays procrastination period has hit us broadside on – all the stuff people put off ‘because it’s Christmas’ still needs to be done, but now it needs to be done alongside all the new work that has arisen as it always does, and always will.

How much of the stress we associate with the amount of work we have to do is wholly the result of our unwillingness to manage our time – or more accurately, ourselves? I’d argue that one of the major factors in our workload woes is our own resistance to doing things at the appropriate time, in the appropriate way, and to the appropriate standard. To a large extent, all three of those factors are within our Circle of Influence, but many of us – the time-strugglers – are unwilling to buy the book, do the course or just take the time to learn how to manage ourselves and our time to best effect. And it is in ‘post-break’ moments that this situation becomes more stark.

One big mistake is putting off the unrelished 5-minute-but-really-important task. Maybe a telephone call, maybe writing a letter or filling out a form. It’ll be a tedious, hateful job that should take 5 minutes, but because it’s tedious and hateful we keep putting it off. Then it suddenly becomes urgent, or worse it doesn’t get done until it’s too late, and we suffer the stress that urgency or potential disciplinary proceedings that ensue.

And it was all our own fault.

You can’t manage time, but you can maximise the time you have, and one simple strategy is to Do It Now! The time management experts all agree – a short task needs to be done as it arises (wherever possible), because doing so opens up available time for the more important stuff to be done properly. It clears space in your head, and it is an inoculation against the stress caused by procrastination.

Of course, Do It Now is not the cure for all time management ills, but I can state two things from my experience of applying the time management methods repeated in my book Effective Time and Life Management, available from Amazon Kindle HERE.

First, doing the quick things now keeps a desk and a brain clean, tidy, and available for creative thinking, planning and execution. Second, having created that time through applying the Do It Now philosophy and by creating and executing on properly scheduled priorities, life is less stressful and much more productive. Not just in work, but where leisure time becomes available because the work is done. And by planning that as well, life can be great.

Buy a book – preferably mine but there are others listed on this site – and apply what is contained therein.

And don’t say you haven’t got time. Read a book one Saturday instead of going to the pub. You’ll probably spend less and will definitely learn something that can improve your lot 24/7.

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Go on – I very dare you. HERE.

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