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Top 7 Tips to Take Control of Your Time and Take Control of Your Life

By Archie Lawhorne

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If you're ever going to take control of your life and make it grand, you'll need to start by taking control of your time. Without question, effective time management is fundamental to succeeding in any area of life. In fact, it is often the main difference between life's achievers and those who, although always busy, never get anywhere. Here's some simple rules to follow for better time management:

  1. Don't procrastinate. Do it now. When people put things off, it
    kills momentum, slows achievement of current goals and restricts
    future opportunity as time is clogged up. The way to tackle
    procrastination is to set deadlines by which goals should be
    achieved. The way to avoid last-minute deadlines brought on by
    procrastination is to set intermediary goals which must be
    achieved and then steadily track progress.

  2. Track your activities. Memory is a poor guide when it comes to
    assessing how you spend your time. A better way is to record your
    activities throughout the day, listing everything you do. Most
    people will find that they have about three hours each day that
    can be used in a more constructive or efficient manner. Take
    stock of the time you spend chatting on the phone, flipping
    though magazines or aimlessly surfing the Web, and eliminate all
    that isn't necessary.

  3. Concentrate on results. Many people spend their days in a frenzy
    of activity, but achieve very little because they are not
    concentrating on the right things. Don't confuse working
    efficiently with working effectively. Activities can be
    tension-relieving, but not goal-achieving. By concentrating on
    fewer "major" priorities regularly, you can achieve a lot more in
    less time.

  4. Remember the 80/20 principle: 20% of your key activities will
    give you 80% of your results. Your aim is to change this to
    ensure that you concentrate as much of your effort as possible on
    the high payoff tasks.

  5. Use travel time wisely. It's easy to overlook time spent
    traveling in your assessment of time management. Consider
    carefully whether this is time that you could use more
    productively. For example, if you opted to take the bus or train
    to work, would this provide an opportunity to make better use of
    your commute time? Or if you do drive, are you listening to
    educational or motivational tapes (rather than the Top 40) which
    could help improve your skills and make you a more productive and
    well-rounded person?

  6. Develop action plans. An action plan is a brief list of tasks
    that you have to complete to achieve an objective. It differs
    from a "To Do" list in that it focuses on the achievement of a
    goal, (and the specific steps to get there) rather than just on
    the goals to be achieved in a period of time. Whenever you want
    to achieve something, drawing up an action plan allows you to
    concentrate on the stages of that achievement, and monitor your
    progress towards that realization.

  7. Respond quickly. For example, take care of your mail as you
    receive it. Don't let those bills and letters pile up on you. If
    you're unable to respond to a letter immediately, file it in a
    special place that's visible, and note on the envelope the
    required action and date you intend to resolve it. When possible,
    act on requests the same day you receive them. Don't let your
    computer, your desk or your mind become clogged with useless

Archie R. Lawhorne is an experienced writer and marketing
consultant. To receive his free one-page report on how to boost
your energy, enhance your mental focus, relieve chronic
tiredness, and lose weight, send an email to:
. For more info on how this powerful
anti-aging supplement can also improve blood pressure, reduce
cholesterol and enrich your overall cardiovascular health, go to:

Article Submitted On: February 21, 2006