Time flies, so they say. If you are involved in a business that requires a great deal of the time in your day, you’d best figure out some kind of schedule that allows you to get everything done. You need to learn the benefit of time management.
When I researched for this article, I found something interesting. If you feel you are really in need of instruction on how to manage your time, there are several free online courses you can take.
Two I noted were one from the Dale Carnegie Institute and one from Forbes.com. Those are only two. If you are interested in such a course, do your search to see which program you would like to take.
Meanwhile, I gained some pointers from some of the articles I researched, and will pass them on to you in this post.
Managing your time effectively gives you the ability to plan and control the hours of your day to allow you to accomplish your goals. One article I read points out that time management is a myth; no matter how organized you are, there will never be more than 24 hours in a day. Thus, all you can organize is yourself, and what you can do in the time that you have.
Before establishing your schedule, it is important that you find out where you are wasting time. You could spend too much time on such things as internet surfing, posting to social media, reading emails, texting, or making personal calls.
If you track your daily activities for a few days, you can form an accurate picture of how you spend your time. This is the first step to effective time management.
Now, create time management goals. First, eliminate your personal time-wasters. For example, for the first week you can make a goal not to make personal calls or any non-work related text messages during work-time. Such an activity can demonstrate how much time you use for such a purpose.
Plan your day ahead of time. Prepare a “to do” list. Set up a time schedule and fit your activities into a time slot. One good way to do this is to use a Day-Timer, as it has all the hours of the day marked for you.
Decide on which items are high priority, and then add other tasks after these all-important ones have time allotted to them. Complete pending tasks before moving on to another one. Make sure you complete tasks within your time limit.
I like my technique of making a list the night before of six things I need to accomplish the next day. Then, in the morning I can fit them into the appropriate spots on my schedule.
Set deadlines for completion, but try to stay ahead of schedule. In this way, you can free up time needed unexpectedly for another project.
When you have a busy schedule, sometimes you can’t finish everything yourself. Learn to find someone else to do tasks that they can understand and do well. Sometimes the only way you can get everything done in a timely fashion is to find someone else to help.
When setting up your schedule, you need to allocate your time in the most effective way to help you reach the success you desire. Here are some techniques to implement when you establish a schedule:
Which tasks are urgent? Which can be put later in the day? Put high priority tasks first, and then stick to your schedule.
2) Finish on time
Set a time limit for each task and then make sure you finish the tasks within their allotted time. If you have not allowed enough time for these priority items, make sure you finish them before moving on.
3) Manage your work well
You need to figure out which tasks are urgent and which are important. Do the urgent ones to completion.
4) Keep your focus
Try to work steadily without a break if you are working on an urgent project.
5) Schedule your breaks
You will need an occasional break in your day for personal needs. Schedule these in, so you know ahead of time that you will have time for personal needs.
6) Set reasonable goals
If you have to finish a certain task, make sure you have allowed the time to get it completed. Know what needs doing and know your own limits.
7) Don’t bite off more than you can chew
It’s nice to feel an urgent need to accomplish your task, but do not push yourself beyond what you can do. Know what you can complete within a certain time frame.
8) Be disciplined
Set a schedule and stick to it. It does you no good to list a series of tasks you need to accomplish if you are not going to complete what you start. Avoid interrupting the task unless it is an emergency.
9) Assign places for important matters
Put files away; organize the paperwork. Know where to find things. If you organize your work space, it will help to keep you organized as well.
10) Write your plan
If you use an organizer, it will help you keep your plan in place. Don’t get in the habit of writing information on a piece of paper that can then be lost easily. Keep a pen and notebook handy at all times.
I was inspired by this information — I just cleaned my office today. It was a mess and needed sorting. Now the task is to keep it clean and organized. I know the process helped, because know I know where everything is, and can find it with ease.
Remember that doing the right thing at the right time is an art. It may take you a little while to get this time management skill down, but with planning and understanding, you can accomplish it. Time management is nothing more than making the best possible use of the time you are given.
There is nothing wrong with discussing your work with others in your business. Often they can come up with just the answer you need to solve your problem. That’s an outstanding thing about my company — Wealthy Affiliate — the community. They are ready to answer your questions and facilitate your progress.
You understand, of course, that you must value time, as once it is lost it never returns. If you want your business to be taken seriously, you need to learn to plan well.
Know your limits and capabilities. This is one reason planning in advance is very helpful, because it allows you the chance to use your time in the best possible way. It not only gives you a sense of direction, but can help with motivation as well.
As you move through your day, you can see that you are moving toward your goal. You can figure out what actions are urgent and which can be done a bit later. If you use this planned approach, you will discover that work gets finished on time and you move ahead faster.
Remember that you can never change the amount of time you have, but by changing your behavior, you can use the time you are allotted more effectively. Your daily plan will alert you as well to the ways in which you are wasting time. It’s called knowing yourself, and will help make your day ‘s work much more effective.
I have used a Day-Timer for years, and at this stage do not know how I’d get along without it. However, if you prefer, you can use a desk calendar with large squares, a software program or a phone app. One reference suggests a software program called Outlook. You might take a look to see if you feel it would be helpful.
Stick to the routine you have established as best you can. Following a routine lets you start right in on the tasks of the day, instead of wasting time getting started.
Try to avoid wasting time while waiting somewhere, for something. Be sure if you know you will have a wait to take along something such as a notebook or your smartphone, and you can continue to work while you wait.
Once you take control of your time and institute a good time management schedule, you will be in a position to accomplish what you wish. Become the master of your time.
Here are the references I used for this article: