Managing your time

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For any business person, time management is a big thing. It seems as though there are less hours in a day than there used to be.

There are so many ways we can be easily distracted these days that having some sort of time management plan can be critical to progressing your business.

Here are some tips:

• Realise that time management is a myth. No matter how organised we are, there are always only 24 hours in a day. Time doesn’t change. All we can actually manage is ourselves and what we do with the time that we have.

• Find out where you’re wasting time. As I mentioned above, there are so many ways we waste time. What are your time-bandits? Do you spend too much time surfing the web, reading email, or making personal calls?

• Learn to delegate. No matter how small your business is, there’s no need for you to be a one-person show. For effective time management, you need to let other people carry some of the load.

• Establish routines and stick to them as much as possible. While crises will arise, you’ll be much more productive if you can follow routines most of the time.

• Get in the habit of setting time limits for tasks. For instance, reading and answering email can consume your whole day if you let it. Instead, set a limit of one hour a day for this task and stick to it.

• Be sure your systems are organised. Are you wasting a lot of time looking for files on your computer? Take the time to organise a file management system.

• Learn to see the difference between urgent and important. The important tasks are those that lead you to your goals, and give you most of the long term progress and reward. Those tasks are very often not urgent. Many urgent tasks are not really important.

• Know how you spend your time. Keep a time log during some time interval, like a week, and then analyse it to see where your time goes.


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