Intrinsic Motivation and Magical Unicorns

The art and science of time management.

The 3 Time Management Tips That Have Made the Biggest Differ

Just one of these tips has saved me 6.5 days already.

In this blog I've frequently pondered the brain-based mysteries of human motivation and procrastination. One bit of feedback I've gotten here and at my workshops is "yeah, David, that's cool but...give me something practical that I can use right now!"

Okay—there are lots of great strategies out there and finding the ones that work best for you is a fun and lifelong quest. I'll give you my Top 3—the three tips that have greased the rails for me and saved me the most time.

1) A tickler system in my office. I got this idea from a time management book I picked up a long time ago in a used bookstore. I don't remember anything else about the book, but this is one strategy I've used daily for years now. The system is simply 43 manila folders (that's 31 plus 12), labeled "1" thru "31" for each day of the month and "January" thru "December" for upcoming months. Where to put October's concert tickets? October folder, right? Where to put paperwork for new client on august 10?  Der. 

2) 2-step bathroom cleaning in 60 seconds. I adapted this one from an organizational expert who calls herself "the FlyLady." You keep a squirt bottle of glass cleaner in the bathroom and 2-3 times a week just squirt the mirror, sink, and rim of toilet. Wipe it down with a big wad of toilet paper (gross, right?). Second, you keep about 1 ounce of toilet cleaner in the receptace/holder of your toilet brush. Just leave it in there, and 2-3 times a week swish your toilet boil with that. Seriously, your bathroom is clean(ish) in 1 minute.

3) A professor in grad school once asked "Why does anybody waste their time drying dishes? The air can dry your  dishes!" So I got a dishrack and haven't dried a dish since. That's 18 years multiplied by 10 minutes a week = 6.5 days of my life that I've saved.

Okay, those are my top 3 tips. If you've struggled with procrastination and time-managment and have stumbled on some really good strategies, I'd love to hear about them.  

What's worked for you?



photo:  vivoad at stock.xchng

David D. Nowell, Ph.D., is a neuropsychologist interested in motivation, focus, and fully-engaged living.


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