Yesterday’s the past, tomorrow’s the future, but today is a gift. That’s why it’s called the present. Please accept, as our present to you, another tip in our 12 Days of Time Management for Teens:
Just One Thing
In a rich and productive life, every day feels like a new adventure. Sometimes, though, even the road to adventure becomes a slog, where too much mundane work separates exciting times. When your to-do list becomes so long that it threatens to entangle you in inaction, cut through that constricted feeling by focusing on your MIT: your Most Important Task.
No matter how much you have to do in a day, you should be able to sort through your demands and pull out the most important ones. Better yet, determine each day’s Most Important Tasks in advance. Start with just one small, necessary task that, when accomplished, will relieve some of your day’s tension and move an essential goal forward. Until you complete that MIT, you should stay away from socializing, social media, or any other non-essential activities.
When we speak of time management, we’re really talking about attention management. Once you commit to recognizing your priorities and directing your energy accordingly, you’ll find that your Most Important Tasks in a given day become easier and easier to identify. Single out just 1-3 MITs a day and pursue them ruthlessly.
Discussion of time management also translates to talk of energy management. You’ll get more done more quickly when you establish an optimal routine to leverage your natural rhythms. Most movers and shakers tackle at least one MIT and often all of them first thing in the morning. Not only are many of us most productive in the early hours, but also the ability to knock out really important items at the outset makes the rest of your day more relaxed and fun.
If you identify your daily MITs and tackle them ASAP, everything will be AOK!
The 12 Days of Time Management for Teens is inspired by and draws liberally from Etienne Garbugli’s excellent Slideshare presentation, 26 Time Management Hacks I Wish I’d Known at 20. Obviously, we think this advice is valuable even for students younger than 20!