It’s no secret that many people try to accomplish more than is humanly possible each day. They believe that with better time management they can accomplish more. But getting more done takes planning and discipline. It’s about managing yourself and how you choose to spend your time.
7 Secrets to Help You Manage Yourself
- Evaluate how you use most of your time. If you want to improve anything, you need to start with a clear understanding of where you are today. Start by jotting down what you do, big and small, for a week or two. Include work, personal and family related activities. Make note of interruptions too! This little exercise will help you identify the time stealing activities so you can begin to eliminate, delegate or manage them more effectively.
- Establish a default calendar for your ideal week. We all have routine tasks and activities each week, so allocate time for them on your calendar. Then structure other activities or tasks such as meetings, sales calls, planning, or project specific work around them. Remember to also schedule family or personal commitments too. We all need ‘me’ time but will rarely get enough if we don’t plan for and schedule it.
- Think good or great, not perfect. How much time do you waste trying to perfect something you are working on? Is the extra time really going to make a difference to anyone but you? All tasks are not created equal. Sometimes good is good enough. Reserve perfect for the things that warrant that ‘time’ investment.
- Work on priorities during peak energy times. For most people, energy levels fluctuate throughout the day. Know when your energy level is typically highest and work on priorities or challenging tasks at that time.
- Establish systems for routine tasks to eliminate duplication and gain efficiency. Try to group similar tasks, like email, returning calls, or researching information, together to reduce stop/start time. Create and use templates for common communications — don’t re-invent the wheel each time! Be decisive and take action when handling email — respond, delegate, schedule task or meeting and delete or file.
- Limit Weekly Priorities. Goals help us prioritize what is important. But if you have too many priorities, you accomplish less, not more. So limit weekly priorities to 3-5 based on the scope of the tasks. If you have too many priorities, you really have none.
- Say No. Interruptions like phone calls, text and office drop-ins are productivity killers so tune them out, turn them off or shut the door. Meetings without a clear purpose — why bother? Requests for help? Certainly but not right now. Schedule a time that is convenient for you — and you may find they figure it out on their own! If you value your time, learn to say no to things that waste it or don’t need your involvement.
Self-management requires discipline, clear priorities, boundaries for yourself and others – and a willingness to say NO when appropriate. Use the above tips to start changing your behaviors.
Can Accountability Make A Difference?
With so much on your plate, it’s easy for business owners to get side-tracked. What if you had someone to help you stay you on track, prioritize tasks, deal with overwhelm, make better choices and decisions? Someone to provide a fresh perspective to challenges or roadblocks? Click here to learn more about my accountability program for business owners.