If better time management is a goal of yours for 2014 try eliminating the word 'just' from your vocabulary when describing things on your to do list. There really is no 'just' about many things we do.
Think about it, "I am just going to send this email before I take the kids to school." Next thing you know you are late because sending even the simplest of emails actually takes about eight minutes (believe me I know I have actually timed it). Eight minutes may not sound like a lot but in our mind when we say "I am just going to......" we never attribute the amount of time to the task that it actually deserves.
Never miss a local story.
Take this morning for example. My to do list was 10 items long and I have actually managed to get through three of the items completely. In the course of completing those items I have added some things to the list. For instance, "I just need to call and cancel this cable bill I am being billed for incorrectly." Three phone calls later and it is still not finished because I got disconnected at the final hurdle.
The good news is that it inspired this blog post, another item on today's to do list, which usually takes approximately an hour to complete. The bad news is that due to the cable company's automated phone system that final call is likely to take 20 minutes. All in all that one item on the list is going to end up taking an hour to complete.
Every time I catch myself saying "I am just going to...." I try and go back and really factor in the precise amount of time it is going to take. The kids are going to be home from school in 90 minutes and I have exactly seven items left on the list for today. I am off to the post office which is going to take 30 minutes. The grocery store is going to have to wait, so is cleaning the bathrooms and the fridge (no wonder I was dreaming about dust bunnies last night).
Being more realistic about the actual time things take is going to help me achieve one of my goals for 2014 which is not being on the computer when the kids get home from school. There really is no 'just' about it!