I don’t know about you, but some days I feel like I can’t get anything done. There are multiple interruptions and you feel like you are being pulled in different directions. At the end of the day, you scratch your head and ask yourself what did I really accomplish today? If you find this happening to you, here are some time management tips and techniques from the experts:
- Record all thoughts, conversations, and activities for a week to help understand where all your time is being spent. This will tell you where your time is best spent and where you are wasting it.
- With this information now in hand, assign time to the activities that are the most productive. Spend at least 50 percent of your time on productive activities that you have scheduled. Schedule appointments with yourself for the high priority thoughts, conversations, and activities and have the discipline to keep these appointments.
- Schedule “office hours” for planned interrupted time.
- Before starting your day, plan your day. If possible, group meetings and communications (email or phone) to create uninterrupted blocks of work time. Break large projects down into reasonable chunks.
- Make a point to write down anything that distracts you. That way they will stop distracting you when you are trying to get something done.
- Before each phone call and task, take time to decide what results you want to attain. This is so you will know what success will look like. After each task or phone call, determine if the desired result was achieved. If not, why not. What was missing?
- Do not be afraid to put up a “Do not disturb” sign when you absolutely need to get something done.
- If it is not crucial to your business to offer an immediate human response, do not answer your phone or respond to email immediately. Instead, schedule a time to answer email and return phone calls. And while you are at it, block out other distractions like Facebook and other forms of social media unless they are used as tools to generate business.
- Get a reminder app for everything. Do not trust your brain to remember.
- Set deadlines for everything. Do not let tasks go on indefinitely.
According to Jason Cohen, @asmartbear, “Your time is worth $1000/hour and you need to act accordingly. Respect your time and make it respected.