Here are eight tips for effectively managing your time:
1. Know your goals -
Make sure you're engaging in activities that support your goals, both short- and long-term. Everything else is a potential time-waster. Your daily plan should revolve around working on tasks and activities that directly relate to generating income and growing your business.
2. Prioritize wisely -
Looking at what goes into making up your day, where do your activities fit into these categories?
Important and urgent -
Do them right away.
Important but not urgent -
Decide when to do them.
Urgent but not important -
Delegate these if possible.
Not urgent and not important -
Do them later.
3. Just say no -
If you have to decline a request in order to attend to what's truly important and urgent, do not hesitate to do so.
4. Plan ahead -
One of the worst things you can do is jump into a project with no clear idea about what needs to get done. The time you spend thinking ahead and planning your activities is trivial compared with the time you'll lose jumping from one thing to the next (and rarely completing anything).
5. Eliminate distractions -
Start paying attention to the number of times someone interrupts you when you're in the midst of an important task. It may take a massive exercise in will power, but shut the door and turn off your phone to maximize your time. Instead of being "always on," plan a break in the day to catch up on email, call people back, talk with staff, etc.
6. Delegate more often -
Look for opportunities to pass responsibility for specific tasks to others when possible.
7. Watch what you spend -
How many productive minutes are you packing in each week? Use a simple time sheet tracker to quickly and easily clock in and out of various tasks or projects throughout the day. Then generate robust, real-time reports to see exactly where you're spending your most valuable asset - and where it's being wasted.
8. Take care of yourself -
Be sure to get plenty of sleep and exercise. An alert mind is a high-functioning mind, and one that's less tolerant of time-wasting activities.