Seven Tips for Effective Time Management

Seven_Tips_for_Effective_Time_Management

Do you often feel that you have too much to do and too little time? Here are seven tips to help you get the most out of your business day.

  1. Plan: Before beginning your day, spend five minutes planning the activities that you intend to undertake. Think in terms of the results that you want to achieve from each activity. Simply visualizing the outcome vividly can sometimes help you in achieving your targets. It is important to expect the unexpected so when making your plan keep an hour of buffer time for unforeseen events that impact your to-do activities.
  2. Prioritize: Not all the tasks on your to-do list are urgent and important. Make a list of the two or three things that are critical for your business that you must do immediately. Get these done early in the day and then go on to the less important items on your list. Divide your list into tasks that are “Mission Critical” and “Would be good to get done.” Mission critical tasks are non-negotiable and cannot-not-be-done by you. Tasks that are classified as would-be-good-to-get-done are elastic and may be stretched.
  3. Focus your energy: If we try to do too much we run the risk of burn-out and not getting optimal results. For example, if you run a marketing campaign then instead of distributing your energy to all possible media channels, focus on the ones which generate the most sales. Use a call tracking report to determine which channels get you the most sales and target your efforts to these channels. By focusing your effort only on the channels, campaigns and keywords that get results you are able to optimize on your limited time and budget.
  4. Decline Dilution of Self: If you find yourself in a situation where you get invited to too many networking events that do not allow for meaningful communications or relationship building you are in effect diluting your contribution to a cause or person. Decline to engage in too many commitments as these activities stretch you thin and may adversely impact your work and relationships long term.
  5. Set time-limits: It is best to set a deadline for completing a project and then stick to it. If you feel you need to perfect certain aspects then you can go back to the project when you have more spare time but don’t fall into the trap of exceeding time limits.
  6. Give quality time: When you are working on a project, give it your undivided attention. Total immersion in a task for 30 minutes can achieve far better results than much longer periods of divided attention. Multi tasking is not productive particularly when you need to bring your faculty of critical thinking to the forefront. Jettison the habit of checking your email, text messages and social media accounts while undertaking analytical tasks.
  7. Downtime is Self Time: Disconnecting periodically from continuous engagement and not being plugged in is essential to develop a sense of oneself and one’s surroundings. Apple Computer’s legendary founder, Steve Jobs’ biographer Walter Isaacson wrote that Jobs would frequently take long walks alone to clear his mind of clutter that prevented him from seeing that which he should have been seeing. So channel your inner Steve Jobs and make some downtime for self time.