5 Tips for Effective Time Management
Feeling overwhelmed by your To-Do list? Many small business owners struggle to get it all done each day. Let’s face it, we wear a lot of hats as an entrepreneur. But the key to getting it all done, is simply effective time management! You can do this!
Try these techniques for a successful and productive day:
- Create a schedule weekly and add to it as needed throughout the day. I find Google Calendar to be amazing for this, but the key is to find what works for you, whether that be a yellow pad, a dry erase board, appointment book, an app for your phone… there are many choices available. Try to break things down in 15 minute increments if possible. This will help you understand how much you can get done during the course of a day and where your precious moments are going. You’ll see how much time is actually spent producing results and how much time is wasted on unproductive thoughts, conversations and actions.
- Use a timer! I cannot tell you how much my productivity increases when I set the timer for 15 minutes! I use this for content creation, responding to emails, social media engagement, and more. With technology today, it is too easy to get “sucked in” to Facebook or your overflowing inbox, or even Google searches. I use a good ole’ fashioned egg timer from my kitchen, but I know the iPhone has one as well that can be useful. The key to this tip is set the timer and stay focused on that one task without interruption for the entire time. Try it – I promise you will be amazed at the difference in your focus.
- Schedule time for interruptions. Potty breaks, trips to the coffee maker or water cooler and chatting with co-workers all take time. If you plan for it and even use it as a reward it will help you to prioritize getting things done. Since my daughter, Gracie is often at the office, I use my “reward” as play time with her for a few minutes, after a tedious timed task is complete.
- Take the first 30 minutes of every day to plan your day. Don’t start your day until you review the day’s agenda and fill in the black spots with important things to do. Likewise, at the end of your day, take some time to reflect on how much you accomplished. Perhaps you did not schedule enough time for something specific… make adjustments so you can better identify the needs of your calendar for the next day. This is also a good time to reschedule any unplanned items that did not get done.
- Phone calls: Take two or three minutes before every phone call and make a list of your agenda. I would also recommend taking a few minutes after each call to notate any commitments you made on your schedule. Another thing, don’t answer the phone every time it rings. Stay focused on the task at hand, and schedule a time to answer email and return phone calls when the item you are working on is complete.
I have found these tips to be quite effective in my daily schedule, and I hope you will implement them into your daily routine! Have another tip you would like to share? Please tell us in the comments!
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