Everyone needs to manage their time, especially the business owner. Time management is a key skill that can bring success and help keep control in demanding situations. There are many different approaches to time management, so finding one that works for you is a task in itself. Here are some primers to get started on the road to a well-developed time management skill.
First off, the obvious is to write things down. Some experts say that the brain is meant for computing and not for storage. This may be true considering that trying to remember everything is next to impossible. However, using a tablet, smart phone or pencil and paper can make for a more dependable system. Create your to-do lists by day of week, different schedules of the job or by priority. Keeping in mind and designating what needs to be done first will keep the urgent from overriding the important. Often what is demanding to be done now is not what needs to be done first. As tasks are completed, a list allows you to check off and in-turn show accomplishment.
Watching tasks being completed will act as an encouragement to keep up with the plan. Another trick is to identify the “low hanging fruit” and complete them first. Once again accomplishments will become visible while building momentum to move forward on the more difficult tasks.
Set aside smaller blocks of time to work on each piece of a project. For example, if there is a presentation to be written, give yourself an hour to work on the introduction and first few pages before moving on to something else. Those 60 minutes will be more productive and less likely to be interrupted by distraction. For computer work placing a timer on your screen to countdown your designated time can help keep you on schedule.
Defining and reaching realistic goals and milestones will give you the feeling of accomplishment too. And while you are at it reward yourself at certain points to give that incentive to keep going. It can be a good time to look back and see how far you come and review what’s next. It’s true that work is never finished but being proactive with your time allows you to remain in control before someone else does.
Ted Saul is a business coach that assists with Business Plans and Project Management. He holds a master certificate in project management and has earned his MBA from Regis University. Ted can be reached on LinkedIn, TedS787 on Twitter or emailing Ted@tsaul.com.