Time management seems to be one of those things everyone knows about, but few people truly know how to put into practice (myself included!) Believe me, I’ve tried apps, classes, books, day planners, timers, you name it – I’ve probably done it.
However, throughout all that time, I have discovered that by BEING MINDFUL of the time I spend and how I spend it, I can manage things more effectively. Here are three tips I’ve learned that I’d like to share with you:
Create a Plan for Your Day.
Even something as simple as taking a half hour every day to plan out your major goals for the day can really make a big difference in your productivity and leave you with a feeling of accomplishment.
Resist the urge to check your email first, dash off that proposal or any other loose ends left unattended until you’ve created an overall plan for the day. You’ll stay more focused throughout the day on getting more done – just be sure that your to do list has things that can reasonably be done in a day.
Always do the largest, most challenging and time-intensive tasks first, and save the smaller, less brain-draining work for later.
And set a specific time frame for each activity. Here’s a cool online timer to help you with that: http://e.ggtimer.com
Make Time for Interruptions.
They’re going to happen whether you have a huge DO NOT DISTURB sign hanging on your door – so why not make them a part of your schedule? Don’t pack your days to-do list so full that it becomes unrealistic, since you’ll end up feeling defeated that you didn’t get “everything on your list” finished.
Keep in mind, however, that although you’re making time available for inevitable interruptions, this doesn’t mean that you should let everyday distractions such as a ringing phone, beeping email program or Facebook chat distract you.
Turn off the distractions, let the caller leave a message, and make time to deal with your email all at once or twice a day. Even better, let your clients know in every email you send that you regularly check messages between X and Y time period.
Multitasking – Not So Smart
You may think that being able to juggle writing an email, talking on the phone and checking your Facebook wall will help you get more done, but our brains simply aren’t wired for multitasking.
Even if you think it’s a great idea, studies have shown that multitasking doesn’t let you work more efficiently, even if it feels that way. Even with all the gadgets we have to help us stay more connected, being able to focus squarely on one task at a time is still the best way to tackle them.
It may not seem life changing, but I encourage you to put these tips into practice a little at a time – in your daily routine and in your business. By making them a conscious habit, you’ll not only work smarter without working harder, but you’ll also feel a surge of confidence and a can-do attitude by creating a schedule that works for you.
Please share your opinion on time management or give us some tips of your own by leaving a commnet below.