Invest 15 minutes each week to reduce your stress and get more value from your time. Effective time management is a skill anyone can develop and this technique will help you to develop good skills faster. And it only requires about 15 minutes of your time.

How do you wrap up your week now? Do you rush off from work leaving everything as is until you start the work week again on Monday? When you do that there are two negative things that happen. First, there are some things that get lost in the shuffle because you didn’t write down the next actions you need to take. And second, you start the next week spending much more than 15 minutes trying to figure out what you should be doing and where you left off the week before.

Before you close shop at the end of the week take time to review the week and plan for the next week. Do you naturally have a tendency to entangle yourself in more than you can handle? You’re not alone. Frequently you innocently get in this situation because you don’t have a full grasp of all the commitments you’ve already made. So take 15 minutes at the end of the week to record all the actions you need to finish up on from this week. Then write down all the actions you need to take next week. Finally, prioritize the three most important things you’ll do on Monday and check your calendar to determine how you will fit those things in between the commitments you’ve already schedule. Don’t schedule them as appointments just be aware that you will do them, and have an idea for time frames when you will work on them.

Empty your pockets. During the week you’ve allowed sticky notes, receipts, bills, business cards etc. to accumulate in your pockets and briefcase and on your desk. Put all these things in one basket and schedule a time when you will pay your bills, turn in your receipts, and properly file the rest.

Realistically the first time you do this it will take you longer than 15 minutes because you’ve allowed a lot of stuff to clutter up your life. But as you practice and fine tune this time management skill you’ll get better and faster at it until you really can do this in 15 minutes or less. If you’d like to learn more time management skills and identify ways to improve you might enjoy taking a free time management analysis.

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