A famous quote from Thomas Edison reads –
Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.
Now how often have you been the one to procrastinate or put something off till later? How often have you not studied for that big test or perhaps not got onto that train because the weather was a little bit bad or you felt a little bit under the weather?
The unfortunate truth is that with the prevalence of modern conveniences that we now have available to us, people have gotten lazy. It is easy to forget that a requirement for success is dedication and hard work. This doesn’t mean that you stop using the tools available to you … what it does mean though is that you need to learn how to use them correctly.
Work smarter – not harder … use your email client to track issues that you need to stay on top off – most clients have a “flag” option and any good email client will actually thread conversations together so that you do not need to read every individual message. Use tasks and task management … if your email client doesn’t support this, use one of the free ones on the net – a great one that I use that is extremely customizable is called “Remember The Milk”. Make sure that you have access to all the people and resources you need to instantly by keeping your address book synchronized through tools like Plaxo. If you have a PDA (Blackberry, Palm or equivalent smartphone) make sure that your email client is integrated appropriately so that you can take it with you.
Remember however that you need to “clock off”!! Do NOT work to the exclusion of your family. You need to remember that the only reason you are there is to support your family and it should NEVER be the other way around.
Use appropriate and useful project management tools – if you do not have access to Microsoft Project there are several free alternative Project Management sites that you can get access to – check out Zoho Doc for a good option.
Think about MindMapping software – Freemind is a great application if you can download and use it on your desktop. However, if your IT department has restricted your access you can use – bubbl.us – this is a free and fairly easy to use application.