1. Define the way you spend your time.
All of us live according to some type of timeline, and until you know how you are spending your time, it will be difficult to manage your time effectively. There are three types of ways you spend your time – thoughts, actions and conversations. Nail down exactly how much time you are spending on each of these and you’ll begin to see the need to designate the time you want to spend on each.
You create the amount of time you want to spend and then spend it the way that’s most appropriate or profitable to get things done. You may not be able to control all of your time, but you can control the conversations, thinking process and activities that take up your time on a daily basis. Master these and you master your time.
2. Use the first half-hour of the day for planning.
Even if your plans fall awry, it’s more productive to be able to look at your schedule either on a computer or other device or a day-planner.
When you organise your daily time schedule, you’ll find you go through the day much more effectively than without organisation.
Begin by thinking through the day. Do you have meetings at work which may take up your time? If so, those should be built in to your schedule first. Then, begin prioritising your tasks for the day.
Beware of easy or mindless activities that take up your important morning time – such as checking emails and getting stuck on Internet sites which aren’t important. Tackle the big things first.
3. Learn to say “No!” to actions and conversations that waste your time.
Finding yourself overwhelmed at work or thinking there aren’t enough hours in the day to complete a task or project might mean that you’re having problems setting boundaries – and saying, “no!”
When you answer “yes,” to every request that comes your way you’ll likely suffer negative consequences that can hinder your productivity and eventually – your success.
Many of us put off the important tasks that would help ourselves get ahead to tackle small requests from others. This is a subtle form of procrastination masquerading as support for others. You might develop a reputation of being a “go to” kind of person, but unreliable when it comes to achieving your goals.
Learn to say “No,” in a nice way and you’ll begin to develop self-confidence in your ability to get things done.
4. Stop multi-tasking to get more done.
When you can focus on a task and give it your all, you’ll be able to accomplish more in a shorter amount of time.
The truth is that multi-tasking can make tasks take much longer than they ordinarily would and leave you frustrated and angry.
Multi-tasking can also be hazardous to your health and well-being. For example, when you’re driving a car and trying to text on the phone at the same time, accidents can occur because of your lack of focus.
In this harried age, most of us try to multitask or think we’re falling behind. You are falling behind – but it’s because you’re constantly multi-tasking.
5. Plan for interruptions.
Having time planned in to your schedule for those inevitable interruptions can keep the stress of “wasting time” from becoming overwhelming and making you frustrated and anxious.
“Planned interruptions” is a technique than most successful entrepreneurs use when planning their days. Simply put – you schedule time for things like phone calls or office drop-ins. This will stop it from throwing your whole day out of balance when it happens because you will have already planned for it.