Time Management is perhaps one of the most important tasks that an entrepreneur must learn when starting your own business. These are my favorite TOP 10 time management tips that I’ve learned from a fellow blogger Deborah Sullivan…you can read more of her articles on her Lifestyle Success Newsletter, see this article & more of them at: www.selfgrowth.com
Go from NOT valuing your time to VALUING your time
This is an important change to make and when it happens you will never waste another minute! In a dollar sense – this means you are comfortable charging for your lifetime of knowledge and experience – don’t allow clients to take this for granted. You have invested a lot of time and energy. In life, we only get one chance with our time – we can not go back and use the last 10 seconds!
Get the most out of your day
Every now and then ask yourself: Am I making the best use of my time? If not, stop what you are doing and begin working on a project that will allow you better use of your time. If you are ‘bogged down’ with a specific situation, get up and go for a walk and then come back and tackle it.
Work with goals in mind
Its amazing how differently we work when you have goals to work towards. If you don’t know what your goals are, spend sometime working out what they may be. Use them as a road map! Examples may be professional (project deadline, sales quotas, career advancement, etc) and personal (health, fitness, family relationship, financial, etc).
Handle every piece of paper or e-mail only once
With paper use the ‘3 D’ rule of Do it, Dump it or Delegate it. Never handle a piece of paper twice. Don’t even think of placing it in your ‘to get to’ pile – Handle it NOW! As for e-mails the same rule can apply so you either action it, delete it or forward it to some-one else. If you print a copy then use the ‘3 D’ rule.
Ask some-one who is efficient – what their secret is
Ask the most efficient person you know what their secret is and how did they develop these habits. Then see if it will work for you.
Don’t allow anyone to take your time from you
Set up boundaries around your time. If you are stopped in the hall for a conversation, ask for this person to arrange a meeting with you (if appropriate); don’t allow co-workers to infringe on your home time; if someone is late for an appointment and haven’t contacted you – give them 15 minutes past the appointed time and then move on. It is up to you as to how you allow other people to use your time!
Build family and personal time into your day
We all need to have the support of our family or friends – so make sure you build them into your daily habits. You don’t want to finish your career and realise that you missed out on the closeness and development of your family.
Your health is important – isn’t it!
Maintain your health and fitness because this is what will help you through in the long run. There are three things that I feel are valuable to us all- they are time [which we are talking about]; knowledge and energy. Take care of your energy and its levels. At the end of the day being overworked and stressed is only going to hamper your health. So take extra care of this – go for a walk, have a massage, spend time with your family, stop and smell the roses or book in for your yearly medical check up.
Dry clean the clutter from your office and home
Take some time to remove the clutter from your life. The more you simplifier your office or life the more time you will have. Clutter zaps your energy and allows you to waste time on non-valuable tasks. So plug the holes today.
Work in your peak performance times
Schedule demanding tasks to the part of the day that you work best, where your energy levels are at their highest. It maybe first thing in the morning or early afternoon – work out when it is and then see yourself moving ahead.
1 – Create A TO DO LIST: create a to do list with both urgent and non-urgent items (tasks); update it throughout the day so that don’t forget anything; keep a copy on your BLACKBERRY or iPhone so that you can always keep it with you to update…
2 – Allocate Your Time: once you create your list, allocate a specific amount of time to complete each task, as well as a due date for completion…
3 – Set & Respect Your Deadlines: once your deadlines are set, work very hard to meet them; by respecting your deadlines, you make your life more efficient, and you avoid those frantic last minute rushes to complete your tasks…
4 – Use Your Time Wisely: reading e-mails and returning calls, and listening to voicemails can eat up a HUGE amount of your time; so allocate specific times to do BOTH; this allows you to be locked in with no distractions when it’s time to work…
5 – Meet Only When Needed: unnecessary meetings waste ALOT of time; if possible, cale down your meeting time only when needed; when planned carefully, sometimes three or four meetings can be compiled into one…
6 – STOP Procrastinating: it’s only natural to want to put off unpleasant tasks until later on-we all do it, the trick is to schedule the most difficult tasks during the day early when you have the most energy…
7 – REWARD Yourself: time management is as much about play as it is about work; please allow time in your schedule when you can sit down and FINALLY charge that damn cell phone; once your tasks are accomplished, reward yourself for a job well done…