April 14, 2010
Get the Most Out of Your Day: 7 Killer Time Management Tips
- Time Management Isn’t Real: First and foremost understand that there is no such thing as time management. Time will march on no matter what and all you can do is make the most of it. Once you grasp this fundamental ideal, you’ll be light years ahead of most other people.
- Prioritize Your Tasks: It seems simple but starting the day by putting together a “To-Do” list and then deciding what has to get done and what can wait is a huge help when it comes to making the most of your day. We usually spend a lot of time doing easy, menial and mindless tasks because we don’t want to tackle the big, difficult or unpleasant jobs. Figure out what needs to get done the most and do it first.
- Break Big Tasks Up: When starting out on these big tasks, try to break it down into less intimidating smaller tasks. Don’t stop working on these tasks until you’re done because getting portions of the overall project done quickly will make it seem a lot easier.
- Deal With it Once: Don’t let one piece of paper, email or phone call get put in a physical or mental pile of things to-do later. Once something comes in either deal with it right then, get rid of it because it’s not important or give it to someone else to do. If you put this work aside and plan to deal with it later, this task along with a million other things will slowly stack up. Think of work like this as an infection; you can go to the doctor and get some pills to clear it up or let it fester and get to the point where it does damage.
- Nuke Time Bandits: Clear your life of people that rob you of time and productivity. You don’t have to be anti-social or rude but there is nothing wrong with telling your co-worker you’d love to hear her story about her favorite cat at lunch instead of right now. This kind of focus sets a good example as well.
- Know Thyself: Be honest with yourself and find your “leaks”, a term coined by professional gamblers to describe weaknesses in their lives or game that destroy their results. Understand where you are wasting time and do your best to short those leaks up. This might mean finding a quiet office to work in, turning off your phone, not checking your email or Facebook every five minutes and ignoring anything else that steals from your productivity.
- Learn to Let Go: Sometimes being the best worker means not doing your work at all. Delegate jobs to others that you trust and are capable. I personally know of a CEO who runs a company doing over $400 million in business every year but insists on hand signing every single check that goes out. Just think about what else he could do with his time if he just had an accountant he trusted!