I would venture to guess that one of the most popular New Year’s Resolutions this year has something to do with improving time management! Maybe it’s listed below ‘lose ten pounds’ or ‘make more money’ but it’s there. Our lives are filled with time thieves and if we accounted for every minute I bet some of us would be surprised at how much of our time is wasted.
So how do we most effectively manage our time?
Take an inventory of your time. This may sound silly but you won’t know what you’re wasting your time on until you track it. Just like when you start checking your bank account to see where all of your money is going you should start writing down everything you do so you can see where all your time is going. You might find that those 15 minute coffee breaks are actually 30 minutes or that quick 10 minute game of Clash of Clans is really an hour. Once you know where your time is going, you’ll be able to make changes to be able to manage it more efficiently.
Get Organized! So much of our time is wasted trying to find things or trying to remember to do things that we just knew we needed to do but now can’t remember. Use the tips below to organize your time.
- De-clutter your workspace. So many desks are littered with papers, sticky notes, food wrappers, empty water bottles and pop cans …no wonder it’s hard to get anything done. You’ll feel so much better just to have a clean organized desk.
- Make a daily ‘To Do List’ of tasks that need to be done. Add new tasks to the list and delete completed tasks. A list gives you a real sense of accomplishment each day and it keeps you on track.
- Schedule time in your calendar for those tasks. Putting it in your calendar is another way to remind you that it needs done.
- Schedule time to stay organized! Getting organized and staying organized are two different things so set aside time each week to make sure you’re staying on task and that you’re staying organized.
Prioritize your tasks and your time! Decide right now what is important to you. Is it more important to follow up with prospective clients to grow your business? Or is it more important to follow up with your friend Jan on Facebook to see how her dog’s infection is doing? Social media is a great way to keep in touch with people but it can be a time thief! Schedule your Facebook time for evenings or if you MUST check it during the day schedule a few minutes and stick to the schedule!
Keep personal calls during the work day to a minimum. Try to schedule time to visit with your friends and family after hours but if it can’t wait keep the calls short and sweet. You have goals to achieve and unnecessary calls can be distracting.
Keep business calls to the point. I understand exchanging pleasantries are part of most businesses but you have probably been on a call or two with a person who seems to have more time in their day than you. Don’t spend countless hours on the phone with business associates talking about the weather when there is work to be done. You have a To Do List to tackle and for once, a New Year’s Resolution to keep. Decide how much time you have to spend on the phone and watch the clock. When the times up it’s time to move on to the next task.
Simplify your day. Do you manage your time efficiently but you just have too much to do? Or do you need help staying organized and on task? It may be time for an assistant. An assistant can help you organize your day and help you stay on task. In today’s world you can hire an in-house assistant or a virtual assistant to do any number of things. The more an assistant can do for you, the more time you free up to do other things.
Here’s to an organized and efficient 2015!