Listed below are some ideas for effective time management and how to manage important issues in your business and personal life.
The first step is to bring a calendar and record all your thoughts, conversations and activities for a week. This will help you understand what you can get done during the course of a day and where your precious moments are going. You’ll see the amount of time that is actually spent producing results and just how much time is wasted on unproductive thoughts, conversations and actions. Any activity or conversation that’s crucial to your success should have a time assigned to it. Important lists get longer and longer to the point where they’re unworkable. Schedule appointments with yourself and create time blocks for high-priority thoughts, conversations, and actions. Schedule them when they will begin and when they will end. Have the discipline to keep these appointments.
Plan to spend a minimum of HALF of your time taking part in the thoughts, activities and conversations that produce the majority of your results. Schedule time for interruptions and plan time to get away from what you’re doing. Let’s look at the example of office hours. Isn’t “office hours” just another term for planned interruptions? Take the first thirty minutes of each day planning it out. Don’t start your day until you develop your plan, because this is the most important part of your day.
Stop, before every phone call and decide what results you desire from the call. This will help you know what success is like before you start and it will also slow time down. Rest after each call and determine whether your result was achieved. Otherwise, think about what was missing. How do you put what’s missing into your next call? Set up a “Do not disturb” sign when you need to get work done. Practice not answering the phone or emails as they appear. Disconnect instant messaging and don’t give people your attention unless it’s crucial to business. Instead, schedule a time to answer emails and return calls. Shut out other distractions like Facebook unless you use these tools to actually generate business. Keep in mind that it’s impossible to get everything done. Also remember that 20 percent of your thoughts, conversations and activities produce 80 percent of your results.