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iManage, Issue #004 -- 3 steps for managing your time more effectively
November 05, 2009
Three Steps to Managing Your Time More Effectively
Not so long ago, people had to type and maybe retype letters, put them into envelopes, get postage stamps and place them in the letterbox. Now, with one email, we can contact thousands of people in seconds.
Isnít it strange that despite email and all the other time saving devices available to us today, we seem to be busier than ever before?
Itís not that there is less time, but maybe along the way, we have forgotten how to manage it.
Here are 3 steps to help you get control of your time, so it is not in control of you.
Step 1: So what are you doing now?
People often complain that they donít know where the day goes. Find out! For a typical three day working period, stop every half hour and write down how you have just spent your time. Then look for patterns. What wastes your time? Are you doing anything that could be delegated or outsourced, leaving you free to do what you do best? Are you being constantly interrupted by others? Are you leaving tasks before you have finished them? Are you putting important tasks on the long finger, because you donít know where to start? Draw a line in the sand and decide what you are going to change.
Step 2: Time is Money
Treat time the same way you treat money. You know when the utility bills are due and you put money aside. You know what meetings and appointments are coming up so put time aside. Schedule your week ahead in a planner, leaving 50% of your time free for the unexpected.
Step 3: Make your To Do List a To Day List
At the start of each working day, only put what you know you will get done in your To Do list. Cramming that list with wishful thinking will only frustrate you. Tick off what you have achieved at the end of the day, to give you that feel good factor.
Not sure what to leave out? Grade your tasks in terms of urgency and importance. Donít just focus on the urgent tasks, as you will end up in a constant firefighting mode. Build in time for that important planning meeting. And donít forget the importance of relationships; you need to allow time for casual conversation too.
And finally, remember that it takes 21 days to alter ingrained habits. So imagine what you would do with a free afternoon, which you could achieve if you managed your time more effectively. Would you like to go for a round of golf, or visit friends? Would you take a walk on the beach or visit a museum? Use that thought as an incentive to keep you on track when the going gets tough.
Until next month,
Wishing you every success!
P.S For more detailed advice, download my
Time Management Audio Guide and Workbook.
Time Management Tips to find out more on my website.
Comments? Ideas? Feedback? I would love to hear from you! Contact Me.
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