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“No Brainer” Techniques for Time Management

December 10th, 2013 · No Comments

Marcus Aurelius, the Roman emperor and philosopher, claimed, “A man’s life is what his thoughts make of it.” That can be pretty scary, if you manage to actually find the time to reflect on the meaning.

There is no question that everyone has too much to keep track of, and much of that stays in your head. One solution is to be sure that you always write down everything. It clears your mind, ensures that you will not overlook tasks or deadlines, and allows you to prioritize. However, do not create long ToDo lists. Instead, if you are a “paper” person, write down one thing only on a sheet of paper, and place that in a Daily Action filing system.

Since you do not always have a full sheet of paper handy, I recommend to my clients that they carry index cards with them at all times. These cards are both sturdier and less expensive than stick-on notes. Any time a thought comes into your head, jot it down on the index card. Remember, only record one item per card.

I call these index cards “No Brainer” cards. Nothing is ever overlooked because you have taken it out of your mind and placed it into an Action file. Your brain is freed to focus on current activities.

Alternatively, for those who have really switched to all-digital, make sure you record the activity in a task folder of your choice.  Give it a date with a reminder, so that you do not fall back into the “endless list” mindset.

What you do want to avoid is mixing the two, paper and electronic.  When that happens, you do not have ONE system.  Since neither one is complete, it is easy to skip over an item even though it was technically written down.

Regardless of which one you choose, you are now free to enjoy being present in the moment and not nagged by worries over what has been forgotten or needs to be done sometime soon.

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Tags: Personal Productivity · Task Management · Time Management