Time Management Shouldn’t Take a Lot of Time
If you spend all day reacting to your business rather than proactively tackling your to-do list, maybe your time management plan could use a tune up. A little planning can save you valuable time throughout your day. Your plan should be simple so you don’t spend all day planning your day. I’ve put a few points down that can give you back some of the time that has been slipping away that you may not have even noticed.
“Got a minute meetings” Do you get a lot of co-workers stopping by your desk asking, “Do you have a minute?” Every time you say yes, you can bet that the meeting will last more than just a minute. Couple that with the fact that you just lost your momentum and focus on the project you were just working on. Get in the habit of saying ‘No’. Unless the matter is urgent, most questions can be saved for a weekly meeting where you can have an organized forum to answer all of the questions your co-workers have of you. Also consider setting aside time twice a day where your door is open to answer questions that can’t wait until the weekly meeting. You will find that you can concentrate better and your weekly meetings will be more productive and organized when people bring specific issues to the table.
“Touch it Once” This may sound simple but when put into practice it can make your day much more productive. Don’t open that letter or email until you have time to read it and deal with it. If you open a letter and then put it down to make a call that you just remembered and have to go back to review that email again you could easily waste 15 minutes just reviewing the task you didn’t finish. If you spend 15 minutes per day reviewing or re-reading you will waste 97 hours a year where you are taking no action. If you touch it, take action.
“Make Lists” Making a list the day before of what you want to accomplish will help you clarify your goals and put perspective on your priorities. Don’t make your list so long that you will not finish it by the end of the day. Focus on the 6 most productive tasks that you need to get done and finish your list. Determine how long each task should take you and plan your day around finishing that list. You will find a tremendous psychological boost by completing the last item on your list.
These three simple techniques can be implemented in just one day and you don’t need to spend a lot of time getting organized to try them out. With all that extra time at the end of the day you can take a second to give yourself a pat on the back before you start your list for the next day.
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