By Sharon Housley
Managing your time and using it wisely is a journey, and not
something that can be easily mastered overnight. Implementing a
plan will help, but it is not going to be a sure cure. Time
management requires a significant amount of self-discipline.
Here are some tips to assist you with time management...
1. Set Goals
Set both short-term and long-term goals for your work day, work
week, and work year. While it may seem silly, take the time to
make a written list of your goals, which will allow you to refer
back to the list when you need some guidance. Keep in mind that
it is okay to adjust the goals as your business needs or your
role changes. Use them as a tool to guide you.
All work an no play is a difficult concept to sustain for very
long. Build rewards into your schedule. If there is a task you
really dislike, follow it with a task that you greatly enjoy.
Build "mini-rewards" into your schedule to increase your
3. Keep Lists
Keep a running "To Do" list. The To Do list should contain both
daily tasks as well as longer-term tasks. Having a To Do list
will help keep your attention on the projects that require
attention, and prevent some items from slipping through the
cracks and being forgotten.
4. Be Realistic
Keep your expectations realistic. No one can do everything, and
with that it mind, try to set realistic expectations of what you
can hope to accomplish.
Prioritize the list of things to do. Some items might require
immediate attention, while others may be necessary but not as
urgent. And after prioritizing, try not to become a "firefighter"
and only react to the urgent items. Be sure to still give proper
attention to non-urgent items as well, as they are important too.
6. Use Time Wisely
If there are blocks of time that you spend waiting or commuting,
figure out ways to use that time being productive! Listening to
podcasts, reading, writing, proof-reading, reviewing your
schedule, planning for your next activity, etc, are all things
that can usually be done remotely to fill in some of the
unavoidable "dead" time in your schedule. Try to find interesting
and unusual productive things to do during those periods of
7. Set Limits
Set reasonable time limits for tasks. When working on those
tasks, monitor the time that each item is taking.
8. Organize Work Space
Organize your work space, and remove any excessive clutter.
Spending time looking for something is a waste of time... and
time is a precious commodity. Both your computer files and your
physical working area should be organized so that you can easily
locate anything you need in a moments notice.
9. Minimize Distractions
If you find yourself consumed by social media, facebook, instant
messaging, or other social mediums, set aside a specific and
timed period of the day for participating in the online social
community. Other than those specific periods of time, set your
status to "unavailable" so that you are not interrupted
throughout the work day. Minimize interruptions and distractions
as much as possible.
At the end of the day, reflect on what you accomplished. If you
were unable to account for a specific period of time, or you
found a given day to be particularly unproductive, take an
inventory and try to determine where your time management system
Keep in mind that not every day is going to be as productive as
you would hope. Unexpected things always come up, and no matter
how hard you try, your expectations just might not be realistic.
Do not become discouraged. Instead, simply stay focused and make
an effort to increase your productivity the next day.
About the Author:
Sharon Housley manages marketing for FeedForAll
http://www.feedforall.com software for creating, editing,
publishing RSS feeds and podcasts. In addition Sharon manages
marketing for RecordForAll http://www.recordforall.com audio
recording and editing software.