Friday, January 23, 2009

Contracting and Optimizing your Time Part 2

Hi All, 

This is a continuation of my blog on working as a contractor and making sure you do it correctly. Procrastination, Laziness and Distractions are all huge problems that most people take out at work right now. However if you are working for yourself...time is money, and you have to ask yourself questions like :

 - I could have made $30 in this hour that I was sending people messages on Facebook?
 - I just spent $60 (2 hours) doing the shopping, would it have been better to just order things online?

Which brings me to Step 2.

Step 2 : To-Do-Lists

Let's face it, we have all done a couple of To-Do-Lists in our lifetime. Whether it was the shopping list, a christmas present list or a project list, lists are a great way of organising what you need to achieve. I personally use a new product called "Remember The Milk" which I had a link to in Part 1 of this post. The free version of "RTM" allows you to add tasks with due dates, and also categorise them into Work, Personal, Study etc. Here are some important tips for creating a To-Do-List :

 - Don't make this list too large as it will become overwhelming and prioritising tasks will become a nightmare.
 - Priorite tasks by importance and due date.
- If you feel that your list is getting to big, take a task off the list (don't actually delete it, but hide it). It is better that you remove a task than just postpone it.
 - Make detailed lists, don't skimp on detail. One of the vital parts of making a list is the fact that you want to remember exactly why and how you were going to do the task. Add attachments, add reminders, add side notes, anything that will enable you to look at the list and know exactly what you were talking about when you entered the task in the first place.
- Have milestones. What good is doing things without having some light at the end of the tunnel? Add tasks to your list that simply entail "Shout yourself to the coast for finishing project A".
- Centralise your list. Like mentioned before....don't use Notepad, Paper, Remember The Milk and Word. Use one product and stick to it. Sure it might not be the best for Calendars...or Storing Pictures but make sure you pick ONE and only ONE and stick to it.
- Don't bite off more than you can chew. Take tasks slowly and do them right. Only tick them off once they are 110% complete. Having a task e.g "Build Website for Brother" and releasing it, knowing that you will have to revisit it in 2 weeks is not a complete task.

Hope this helps, 

 - Tim

1 comment:

Ian Tuir said...

All Good Points. :)