Essential Time Management Tips For Your Success
As entrepreneurs time management is sometimes tough because we are often interrupted or pulled in different directions throughout our day. Days are often spent “spinning our wheels” but not actually getting anything done. I can’t tell you how often, in the past I felt, at the end of the day, that I had worked my tail off only to realize that nothing of value had actually been accomplished.
Here are some practical tips for time management that will help you get your day more organized.
Keep a journal. You don’t need to do this forever, but do it for a week and get a clear idea of how your time is being spent each day. Periodically pick up the practice again. When you record your conversations, activities, and even your thoughts and ideas, you’ll get a much clearer understanding of how much you are able to accomplish each day and where your time is actually being spent. When you understand how much time is being spent actually producing results verses how much is being wasted on various activities, unproductive thoughts and conversations (either verbal or electronic), you’ll be better able to streamline your workday and your life in general, thereby reducing stress and accomplishing more.
All activities, meetings or conversations that are important to your success should have time assigned to them. Create time blocks each day for high priority tasks, conversations and idea generating thoughts. Schedule a start time and an end time for these, and be disciplined about keeping to your schedule.
Schedule time for interruptions; create a time for “open” office hours and let others know when that is. For example, notify your clients, associates and employees that you are available Monday through Thursday between the hours of 2pm and 5pm for calls and emails. Let them know that you will not be responding to non-emergency phone calls or mails at any other time.
Utilize the first 30 minutes of each day to plan your day. Alternatively, utilize the last 30 for the following day. Don’t begin your day until this task is complete.
Take a few minutes before the beginning of each task or call to set your intention and decide what on the results you want to attain. Take a few when you’re finished to decide if you accomplished what you set out to accomplish. If you didn’t, determine what went wrong and use that information for next time.
Place a “Do Not Disturb” sign on your door when you need to concentrate on tasks that cannot support interruption.
Disconnect completely when you are “in the zone”. Put your phone, email and IM on do not disturb mode and focus completely on the task at hand. If its that important, they will leave a message or reach you during “office hours”.