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Time Can Be On Your Side

Feb 18th 2011
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Just admit it.  Come on.  We all have time management struggles here and there.  Even the best of us that live by the clock, and are sticklers for time, fall off the wagon on occasion.  When you're asked why you didn't accomplish all the things you wanted to, do you say "I didn't have time"?  Yesterday I attended a luncheon in which the topic was time management.  In this busy day and age, who isn't looking for some tips and tricks to help manage and maximize the most amount of time in a day.

We all face many challenges throughout our days - e-mails, phone calls, meetings, family, personal interests, etc.  We multitask every single day, juggling the balls to keep everything afloat.  But are we keeping all the balls in the air, or are we letting some fall to the wayside?

Take a look at what you're currently doing, and if it's not working, raise the white flag and surrender.  This by no means indicates defeat.  Simply try something different.  Make a decision to change, own it and take action.   So now what?

Prioritize what's important to you.  Not sure?  Think about what it is that you value...goals you would like to accomplish....tasks to complete.  Figure out what is important and prioritize your day.  The incoming phone call, for example, while important, is not urgent.  Set aside a block of time to answer phone calls, check e-mails, etc.  These tasks rob us of precious time.  Don't keep your e-mail open, minimize it.  It's just too tempting to click on each e-mail that comes through, and nothing gets done in a day.  Been there, done that!

A good plan minimizes time management struggles.  Schedule appointments throughout your day. This is something I have found useful.   If I know I have a jam packed day, I'll schedule it out as appointments and set an ending time.  This works on weekends as well, when my kids would like to go in different directions, and there's only one of me.  I simply lay out the plan and timeframe for the day,  and I stick to it.  Not to say that I haven't strayed from the plan here and there.  I think they've called me a "time freak" once or twenty times.  I can deal with that.  Point is, have a plan of attack in place.

Priorities - check.  Plan - check.  Next step is execution.  Ultimately it is up to you to put this in place.  No one can do it for you.  Sometimes you will stray off course, but it's important to get right back to it.  Appoint a person you can be accountable to.  That'll keep you on track and the more momentum you gain, then its full steam ahead!