There are only 24 hours in a day, and there’s always a lot of things to be done, so you must learn to use your working hours to their maximum benefit. You can go willy-nilly through your day, doing a little of this or a little of that, feeling more and more unaccomplished as the day wears on, — or, you can know exactly what you are going to do each and every day, and feel satisfied and accomplished when the day is over. It’s your choice.
You can’t manage time. It’s that simple. There is no such thing as managing time. Time is a limited and valuable resource. What you can do is find out where you are allowing time suckers and time wasters to use up this limited resource in an unproductive manner and reclaim your time for more productive and more profitable activities. This is more self-management than time-management.
I’m not saying you can’t or shouldn’t do these things during your day, but these are not tasks that you should do when it’s time to work on your business, they should be tasks you do on your personal time. Make sure you’re drawing that line in the sand to help you stay focused on your most productive and most profitable tasks.
Start tracking your daily activities so that you can see where your time wasters are. You can use a spreadsheet, a time clock of some kind, or a piece of paper, but it’s important to track every moment of your time during the day for about a week to get a good full picture of what’s going on.
Once you’ve finished tracking your time for the week, go through and highlight the time wasters. Next, identify items that can be outsourced. Now, identify items that you need to do yourself. Separate the items you will do yourself between business and personal time. Divide further into money producing activities and non money producing activities.
Once you have your list, set goals to help you manage the use of your time in a manner that is most productive. By changing your own behavior, you will feel as if you have more time in every day. You will feel more accomplished if you make a list of daily goals, marking off each task as they are completed.
Studies in goal setting have shown that most people who write down a goal, never actually do it. You can improve your chances of success if you not only write it down, but create a plan of action that is broken down in small pieces that you can actually accomplish.
Finishing things within the time you have to do them is an important aspect of time management. If you want to end time wasters and time suckers forever, set goals and manage them to fruition by creating a workable schedule and following through.
Goals should be very specific and include exactly what needs to be done, who will do it, and how it will be accomplished and by what time. By being very specific about goals, you’ll be more likely to achieve them.
For some people, it helps to attack one issue at a time, working toward a full time management system within a month by eliminating one or more time suckers and time wasters each week. Changing your behavior slowly with an end goal in mind regarding managing your time well will result in a new attitude about the time you spend doing various tasks.
Increasing your productivity will feel terrific. While you can’t actually gain extra time in your day, you will feel as if you have accomplished this impossible task by freeing up time you used to waste and reclaiming it for something productive. (And hopefully something profitable, too)