Tools for Effective Time Management

Don't say you don't have enough time! 

You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo daVinci, Thomas Jefferson, Madame Currie and Albert Einstein.  And anyway… that statement is one for the books, to be thrown out the window with rest of negative thinking.  No matter how overwhelming the task in front of you, remember you have the same 24 hours as George Bush has today and that Thomas Edison, Leonardo daVinci and many other big producers had before. The power of time may well be in how well we use those same hours by using basically the same golden rules of time management...  like planning, prioritizing, delegating, dividing big task into smaller ones, measuring progress, etc. that the achievers use.


Time Saving Tips: 

1.      Don't procrastinate. The longer you put off a task, the more time you're wasting that could be used to do that task or something else.  This is the biggest obstacle to overcome on your path to effective time management.

2.      Put a dollar value on your time. Figure out how much your time is worth and the rest will fall into place.  

3.      Do the right work at the right time. If you're a morning person, you should be busily writing the client memo at 9 a.m., not standing in line at the post office,  In other words, do intellectual tasks when you're the most alert and save the mundane tasks for your low-energy moments.

4.      Automate. Find ways to do things faster by automating. The key is to use technology to decrease the time it takes to get something done. Sometimes automation will seem like a time saver, but practical experience will show that it's not.

5.      Screen calls. There are "high-maintenance" friends and clients. Using an answering machine or caller ID lets you know when to take a call or when to let the machine answer it.

6.      Find a different location. If you have work you need to do and it's not getting done because of constant interruptions, consider spending a day or part of a day doing the job at home. Or, if you work out of the home, consider turning off the phone ringer or screening calls for a couple of hours to get the important project done.

7.     Implement an efficient organizational system. It doesn't matter whether you use a Franklin Day Planner, a Palm Pilot or a legal pad and a pen. Find a system that works for you. Use a to do list!   Any simple method for organizing is good.  When working on large projects that require multi-tasking use a good Project Management Software Package.  My favorite is Microsoft Project. 

9.     Reshuffle the list as needed. Re-evaluate tasks and priorities as your project or day proceeds; group tasks into long term or short term.  Prioritize using simple number or alpha systems.

10.   Always expect the unexpected. In a typical week plan for only 25 – 30 hours of regular work and allow 10 – 15 hour for the unexpected.  Not scheduling every minute gives you that extra needed time for catch up  - should nothing unexpected come up!

11.   Clean up as you go along.  This one is a no-brainer!  Put files or tools away immediately.  Helps to avoid clutter and just plain makes you look good.

12.   Avoid useless filing. If you don’t need it throw it away!

KISS – Keep it Simple Silly! 

KISS Tip # 1 . . .   minimize interruptions

Those nasty interruptions are a challenge for almost everyone. Consider your office or cubicle layout.  Think about repositioning your desk or your chair, use plants as a screen and a barrier - you will be less distracted.

Sometimes just making yourself unavailable for every passer-by will help to save valuable and productive time each day!

Each and every time our eyes connect with another - we give subliminal approval to be interrupted. Some of those connections turn into minutes. A few minutes here and there turn quickly into hours. Haven't you often heard yourself saying: "Where has the day gone?"

KISS Tip # 2 . . .   avoid clutter 

Clean-up as you go along - putting off keeping a clean desk or creating piles of paper will only come back and bite you!  Our mothers had the right ideas when they stayed after us to pick up every thing and keep our rooms clean.

KISS Tip # 3 . . .   learn WHEN to procrastinate

Sometimes you just need to put things off!!  WHAT you say!! A business management specialist telling you to procrastinate!  And... after all it is the #1 "time saving tip!".  Well, you know what - if you feel overwhelmed; with just way too much to do --  put the brakes on! Sit back, relax, put some things off and re-organize!  Some things will just go away!  Of course the key here is to re-prioritize things and attend to the most important items first.  Just stepping outside the box can help save the day!

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Being rich is having money; being wealthy is having time

Map out your errandsThink about the logistics of what you are working on. Make a list.  I've found it helps when I make a list of everything I need to get done and then plan out how to get it all done with out crossing my tracks.  

While many things are very immediate, they are not really that important to your personal growth but they have to get done, we have to breathe every second, drink every hour, eat every day, if the phone rings we need to answer it. How we set our priorities will help direct and manage our time.  Assign a numbering system to help prioritize your tasks.  

Color Code!



Don't try to reinvent the wheel!  



Use Templates!

Using templates is what Henry Ford put to work on his plan to mass produce the automobile ... and we all know what that did for the production of the car!



In the competitive business world, wasted time can lead to lost profits.  Time managed well is time well spent!


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