The most successful thing I have done related to time management is to create two written lists which help me focus, set priorities and ensure I am working on the right things. The first list states "10 Things I Want to Be Doing That I am Not Currently Doing" and the second list states "10 Things I am Doing that I Would Rather Not Be ".

The lists cover not only career related items, but personal items as well--anything that I feel will bring the appropriate balance, direction and focus to my life. Just the act of forcing myself to think through these lists, and write them down, taught me more about myself and my priorities then any prior exercise.

I then shared my lists with an accountability partner, who did the same. We talked through our lists and discussed how we might change our current situation to address the items on the lists. We then chose an item from each of our individual lists that we felt were not only high priority, but that could reasonably be achieved in the time we set for ourselves.

We continue to speak on a scheduled basis. We discuss our progress and if we are ready, choose another item from our lists to focus on until we speak again. Forcing myself to write down BOTH lists has given me more focus and direction than I've had in a long time. Knowing that I have a partner that is interested in my actions and goals keeps me motivated. If I feel myself distracted or not sure what I should be working on, I go back to my list and conversation notes and become once again focused on what is most important.

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