Top 7 Time Management Tips

Time is money. This is a phrase that all of us have heard or said at one point in our lives. Why do they say that? Because it is the simple truth. In today's fast-paced world, time is the key to success. To be amongst the top-notch people, you must first learn to manage your time in a way that balances your professional and personal lives.

Business owners are often responsible for lots of things; administrative work, staff meetings, business trips and management of the company.  It’s a lot to handle and a lot of things to get done each day.  Oftentimes, business owners end up focusing on all of the small details and the big projects and development work goes undone.  By really determining where and how you spend your time you can make sure you’re making the best of it.  By maximizing your time, you are making your life less stressful and allowing your business to grow.

#1 Keep lists, and have more than one. Keep a list for what you have to do today, this week, this month and even this year.  If something never moves up on the list, chances are good it’s not that important. Write down the date you add something to the list.  This will give you an idea of how long it’s really been around.

#2 Keep a section of your planner or to do list dedicated to your goals.  There is a saying: What gets written down gets attended to, and what gets attended to gets done.  If something is really important, put it on a sign, a post-it note, and put it where you will see it every day.

#3 Determine how you prioritize. Some people like to do what is most difficult first in their day. Others want to do what could make them the most money first in the day.  Pick a way to prioritize and stick with it.

#4 Schedule time for email.  We often have no idea how long we spend online, and we can easily get distracted.  A good way to manage your time online is to set a timer for 30 minutes.  When it rings, you know exactly how much time you’ve spent on email and browsing, and you will not “lose” time as easily.

#5 Schedule time for making proactive phone calls, and returning calls you’ve received. Playing phone tag can use up a lot of time and can decrease your productivity. Bundle your phone calls all at once so that you are not being distracted from your work more all day.

#6 Give yourself transition time between activities.  Scheduling activities one after another does not allow you ample time to finish what you are doing and transition into your next task.  Give yourself a few minutes buffer time in between meetings and calls to clear your desk, get some water, and feel calm and collected.  Don’t forget to compensate for time traveling between meeting locations, even if it is just within your office.

#7 Avoid multitasking. There was a time when multitasking was all the rage. People still talk about juggling several things at the same time. Multitasking actually slows you down. Michigan psychologist, Dr. David Meyer, conducted a study on the subject and found that switching between tasks of varying complexity added almost 40 percent to completion time as compared to completing one job before beginning another. Along with the problem of multitasking, it is important to avoid tempting distractions. Avoid looking at text messages or checking email. Protect your time because each interruption breaks your concentration and it takes, on average, 15 minutes to get back to your original focus and train of thought.

Running a business is always challenging.  There are never enough resources: time, space, and money in particular. By freeing up time, we can focus on things that are important to the success of the business.

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Posted on May 17 2016

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