How to Skillfully Manage Time and Keep Your Fourth Quarter Sane

It’s a scientific fact that the fourth quarter is the exact worst time of year for all businesses, everywhere. It doesn’t matter if you’re some scumbag marketing writer cranking out a quick blog in a cubicle or a billion-dollar CEO frustratedly working on his mid-range putt inside his office as he thinks out budgets; By now, it’s 10 a.m., you’re on your seventh chug of Maker’s Mark, and it’s more or less time to start wondering if today’s the day that the liberating stress-induced heart seizure finally comes.

Is this a little bit of a bleak topic for a Monday? Probably! But I’ve got some good news for you guys: Not only am I only on my sixth chug of Marker’s Mark (that’s well below average, for those keeping track), I’ve got a handy-dandy, time-salvaging, work-perfecting list for you all that will help steer you through this fourth-quarter nightmare. Ready for all that? Good, then here we go!

1) Make a Daily To-do List
You will never complete all the tasks on this list, or probably ever come close, but it’s a calming and important lie to tell yourself; That the world is made up of small, manageable tasks and there’s no reason you have to walk out of your office, discard all forms of I.D. on your person and wander off to the city park to live amongst the squirrels and larger, more rabies-filled, rodents.

2) Do the Most Critical Things on Your List First
All to-do lists can be divided into two sections: “Fatally combustible problems” and “Things that don’t matter.” Do the combustible problems first, in order of the explosion size they are likely to wreck upon your life. (Start with the ballistic missiles, work your way down to the hand grenades.) You should have no problem picking out the combustible problems, since they’re usually business-killing things like “Our website has been hacked into a series of rotating ads for Chinese pharmaceuticals,” or the fan-favorite, “That one guy who owes a lot of money sure isn’t giving it to us. Super!”

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