One of the most important skills for success in any endeavor is the ability to organize and efficiently manage our day. Time management is a skill that comes easier to some than other’s, but anyone can learn how to be efficient and organized by forming new habits and making small changes. Here are a few things that help me:
1. Make lists: Begin each day with a list or schedule of prioritized tasks that need to be performed. I generally prefer to make my list the night before and compile it in my day planner or calendar on my tablet/iPad. Be sure to allow room for flexibility within any schedule that you create for yourself.
2. Maintain a time management system: With all the advances in technology and the development of apps, time management has never been easier. Choose one that meets your needs and get in the habit of utilizing it daily. I also like to utilize a good day planner to maintain a hard copy of my schedule in case there are issues with my laptop.
3. Set goals and priorities: Start each day with a reasonable expectation of what you can accomplish during your business day. These goals can be as simple as establishing an earlier start time, number of appointments you schedule, or projects or reports that need to be done. Set goals and expectations for each day, and structure your schedule in order to meet those goals.
4. Tackle the worst first: When possible, try to tackle the most difficult, time consuming tasks first. By doing this, your mind will be at ease, you will be able to work more efficiently, and you will free up more time for smaller, less time consuming tasks.
5. Identify time wasters and control them: Examine your typical day over the course of a week and identify those pockets of your day where time could be better utilized. For example, some questions I may ask myself are as follows: “are you spending too much time chatting with vendors or clients about things that are not pertinent to the job? Are you taking the most effective routes to eliminate wasted time?” These are both examples where time can be gained. Examine these habits and eliminate them.
6. Don’t forget necessities: It might sound obvious, but we have all rushed out of the house or office and forgot something that is necessary to have an effective work day. As you are making your list and establishing your goals for each day, make sure to add all of your necessities to this list.
7. Maintain a positive attitude: Your attitude and how you approach each day dictates how successful your day will be. No matter what systems you employ to manage your time, the attitude that you bring to each day will determine whether you will reach your goals or not. Remember that believing the glass is half full will eliminate the fear of being thirsty.
Written by: Scott Greene