Put time on your side

March 8, 2011 | By Bruce Hourigan | No Comments

“There are never enough hours in the day.” That’s a thought that most of us have had at one point or another.

Some people never seem to have enough time. They’re always running late, acting as though they’re drowning in mountains of paper or talking about how much they have to do with so little time to do it.

The problem is often managing one’s time. With Facebook, Twitter, the Internet and cell phone plans with limitless minutes, it’s easier than ever to waste time, even while grumbling about being oh-so-busy.

Start taking control of the hours in your day with these time-management tips:

  1. Track your time. Yes, it’s tedious, but for one week write down everything you do in 15-minute increments. Be honest! It’s better to know that Facebook takes up two hours a day, than to wonder where the morning went. Just being aware of how you spend your time is the first step in getting your day more organized – and getting more done with less angst.
  2. Prioritize. Now that you know what you do and how long it takes you to do it, it’s time to decide what’s most important to do. That’s going to be different for everyone, and will vary day to day. Some tasks are urgent and must be completed by a certain date or time. They need to go to the top of the priority list. Others may be delegated to a staff member. And you might even find yourself deleting some items from your to-do list altogether.
  3. Make a list of goals you want to accomplish each day. Just as you would add extra time for a home-improvement project, make sure you schedule a bit more time than you think you need for each task. Things usually take longer than we anticipate. When we are truthful about how long things could take, it is much easier to stay on schedule. You won’t feel behind from the first task.
  4. Plan for the unexpected. Be sure to leave some open space for the unforeseen, such as staff questions or an appointment that runs long. And schedule in a break or two – it’s vital to clear your head, so go for a walk, have lunch, run out for a coffee. You’ll find yourself more focused when you do.
  5. Remember, it’s a process. When you lose track of time or are struggling to finish things up at 10 p.m., it’s easy to give up. Instead, review your day and try to figure out what happened. Maybe you didn’t allow enough time for a job or perhaps a genuine crisis threw your day out of whack. Whatever the cause, don’t beat yourself up. Just keep working on it – tomorrow is another day.

Categories: Business Builders

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