Winning the Time Management Game – Distinguishing Between Projects and Chores

Time management is realy another name for task management.  The better you can play the game of task management, the better you can win at getting your time back.  There are many strategies and tactics that a person, business owner, student or employee can use to get the most effectiveness out of their time.  When it all comes down to it, it’s about having a clear plan and the focus to implement that plan.  When that happens, all of the other distractions that suck up your time fall by the wayside.

Each and every day, all of us continually search for the extra edge to win the time management game.

One of the most overlooked areas in implementing a time management system is the importance of differentiating between “chores” and “projects”. In the end, our time management strategies should be centered upon the completion of projects.

However, more often than not, we end up repeatedly doing the same chores in an effort to feel more productive.

Chores Versus Projects

If you are concerned with the importance effective use of your time, you must learn to differentiate between chores and projects.

A chore, as I define the term, is an item that, while needing to be done, does not accomplish a long term goal. A chore is akin to a ritual that must be completed week to week. A, chore, if left undone, can be delayed until another day. Mowing the yard, washing clothes, and buying groceries are all examples of chores.

Projects are items that usually involve multiple steps and take longer to complete than chores. Projects usually need to be completed once and provide a significant long term advantage when completed. Usually completion of one step is necessary before we can move to the next step. Painting the house, remodeling the kitchen or renovating a rental property are all examples of projects.

Completing Chores Is Not The Key To Long Term Success

We all want to feel productive.

With respect to widely managing our time, many times we sacrifice the long term satisfaction of completing a project for the short term gain of doing a chore.

However, when we understand the importance of managing our time over the long term, we realize that we really are not accomplishing anything at all. Over the course of a month, we will have exactly the same number of items to complete. Grass grows, clothes get dirty and food is eaten.

These tasks must be repeated each week.

While it is very satisfying to get things done, unless it makes a real long term improvement to our life, it does us no good.

Completing Projects Is The Key To Winning The Time Management Game

Unlike performing a chore, when you complete a project you must complete each step once and your efforts are rewarded continuously over a long period of time. When you remodel the kitchen, you do it once and enjoy the benefits and convenience of a modern kitchen everyday thereafter for a long period of time.

The problem with completing a project is that it usually cannot be done quickly and involves multiple steps. The emotional payoff is delayed until all of the steps are completed. Many people are unable to implement a time management strategy that spans multiple weeks or even multiple days.

Their time management system focuses on what needs to be done today. As a result, they never get around to permanently accomplishing the longer term projects.

A Time Management Strategy For Completing Projects

In the end, it is easy to develop a time management strategy to win the time management game. Simply break projects down into smaller steps. Each step can then be completed in a short period of time and over a period of days or weeks.

If you need to remodel the house, the project can be broken down into several component parts. Each of these parts can be performed (usually once) over a period of time.

We get the daily or weekly emotional payoff of completing a goal along while reaping the long term, permanent, benefits of completing an important project.

Think Long Term To Win The Time Management Game

The key to developing a winning time management strategy is to implement a time management system that emphasizes the long term completion of important projects over the short term emotional payoff of busy work.

By breaking important projects down into smaller steps, you can reap the short term emotional payoff of getting things done along with the long term benefits associated with completion of an important project.

Douglas Manning writes articles to teach people to win the time management game. Get more time management training at

More on the time management game:

5 Easy Time Management “Hacks” | Steve Scott Site

“Lack of time” is usually a good way to let yourself procrastinate. Here are a few easy ways that you can add a bit more time to your day. Think of these tips as time management hacks: … The amount of time people waste playing video games amazes me. Some of my friends literally stay up all night long playing games on their Xbox. Supposedly some of the games for younger kids are educational, but there’s really no point to most other games, especially if they’re keeping …

Publish Date: 07/27/2010

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