Sean Johnson

10 things I do to manage my time more effectively

Lots of books, blogs and seminars have been created to address the concepts of time management, and for the past year I’ve read a ton of them. I’ve been soaking up information on how others bring order to their lives, creating more time and taking better advantage of the time they have.

While I have a considerable freedom in working remotely, I realized that I don’t take nearly as much advantage of that gift as I should. Specifically, even though I’m able to get a considerable amount of work done in a brief period of time (since I don’t have nearly as many meetings or interruptions as I did when I was in the office, and since I’m a “sprinter” by nature), I fill up the time savings in extremely unproductive and stupid ways – reading Digg, playing video games on the XBox, batting at a ball of yarn, etc. The result is that though I have a ton of flexibility in how I structure my life, I have little to show for it other than a high ranking in NBA live and a very comprehensive knowledge of all things Ron Paul related.

It’s something I’ve tried to remedy in the last year, and I’m pleased to say that today I feel much more effective, much more balanced, than I ever have. What follows are the best strategies and tactics that have helped me get there – your mileage may vary, but for me this stuff has represented the best of what I’ve read and tried given my disposition, station in life, etc.

What about you? Do you use any tricks or strategies to be more effective on things that matter to you?

Additional resources for managing your time

Getting Things Done was the book that started me down my path of time management enlightenment. It’s fairly complicated to get set up, but the benefits of “next action thinking” and the weekly review have been immensely valuable for me.

The Power of Less is simple and to the point. I got particular value from his conversation on focusing on one thing at a time. It seems intuitive, but I found myself constantly struggling to maintain focus. The upside of forcing yourself to eliminate distractions is immense.

The Four Hour Workweek isn’t just about time management, but it does go into detail about how to eliminate 90% of the “stuff” that you do that’s unnecessary. Batching email came from here, as did my dabbling with a personal assistant.

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