Kim Peterson, CEO CommonSenseHealth.org
I don’t know about you, but, I believe that time is our most valuable resource. We can never manufacture more time.
It’s up to us to manage time as effectively as possible in order to make the most of how much of it we have to spend.
So it’s reasonable to say that circumstances that or individuals who waste our time are HIGHLY undesirable. We can’t control equipment crashes, traffic jams, delayed or canceled flights, but we can control little things that can add up to big wins or losses.
Here are 23 ways to manage time in a way that will set you up for consistent movement forward rather than spinning around in circles, wondering where all your time goes each day.
Look at your email only at predetermined times.
Checking email or messages throughout the day is the equivalent of allowing people to walk in and out of your office all day long grabbing pieces of your time as they see fit. Turn off notifiers as they tend to be REALLY distracting. Check in the morning and afternoon. That’s it.
Be there when you say you will and expect that of others.
Whether it’s a Skype, call or meeting, be there when you say you will. If you will be late due to unforeseen circumstances, let the other person know BEFOREHAND. Be the type of person you’d like to do business with and maintain a low tolerance for people who don’t have the same respect for your time as you do.
Hire a Virtual Assistant.
Virtual assistants can help you with things like email, bookkeeping, presentation and video creation, scheduling, and research. If you can unload some of these things, do it. This leaves more time for what you bring to the table and what makes the biggest impact.
Keep a paper notebook (here’s the one I started using this year) with you at all times to jot down notes and ideas or use apps like Evernote or Trello to capture ideas for later review and implementation.
Use a Project Management Platform.
Tools like Basecamp give your team a way to communicate in groups, set deadlines, assign tasks, collaborate, share and edit files in an orderly way, which saves everyone time in the long run.
Have Virtual Meetings.
Avoid traveling when possible and instead use programs like Skype, GoToMeeting or Free Conference Call to get your team together.
Keep things clean, uncluttered and simple.
Your desk, office, home car, files, and life. Set aside time every week to make sure your environment is kept clean and clutter free. Get help with this if you have to. Working in a cluttered mess is stressful and you are far less likely to produce stellar results. Stay on top of this one. You’ll be glad you did.
Have a back up and then a backup of your backups.
Make sure you will be okay when (not if) your technology takes a dive. Create automatic backups of all your important files in case of a computer or phone meltdown. Check out iCloud or Dropbox for file storage and backup options.
Keep Templates for Commonly-Used Forms.
Don’t spend time writing the same paragraphs over and over again when you could have a general template saved. Google Docs is my go to tool for this.
Automate business expenses.
Make use of automatic bill pay services whenever possible to avoid late payments and get back the time you are spending on paying bills each month. Using a company card that generates money back or travel points is a great way to help your money do double duty for you as well.
Don’t take on tasks just because someone asks you to. If you really aren’t able to squeeze it in and it won’t help your business, don’t do it.
Double up using down time.
Time spent commuting or waiting for appointments to begin could be used to listen to educational podcasts or books, update your calendar, write notes etc. making the most of every moment pays dividends over time.
Use Mobile Apps.
These are a lifesaver! You can manage your banking, create an ad campaign, write emails, create a blog post, manage your calendar or speak to someone across the globe from the comfort of your own smartphone. Take advantage of the power and time-saving features this affords you. Get savvy with apps.
If you’re an early bird, get your most important tasks out of the way early. If you’re a night owl, don’t force yourself to turn in big projects in the morning. Play to your strengths.
Leave room for unplanned happenings and don’t over-schedule.
Things you didn’t plan for will come up throughout the day. Take this into account when setting up your schedule. Don’t overschedule and don’t flip out when detours occur. Flow with it and get back on track as quickly as possible.
Kindergarten wisdom ... make time for quiet time.
If you work in an office, put a “do not disturb” sign on your door while you’re working on an important task or project. If you work from home, silence your phone for that time or head to the library or some other location where distractions are kept at a minimum to knock out some uninterrupted, quality work.
Plan your day before you start and do the most important task first.
Having an overall view of how you’d like your day to flow along with the objective of getting the most impactful item completed first is a great place to start. It’s really easy to allow interruptions to side track us. It’s harder to stay on track, but when you review your schedule the night before and then again in the morning, it gives you a roadmap to follow and you are much more likely to keep interruptions and mindless time wasters at bay.
Shorten your workday and measure your time.
Don't ever have an open amount of time to get a task done. Always challenge yourself to get it completed in a certain time period - preferably shorter than you think you can do it. Use the timer on your phone and try to beat the clock. It makes the tasks you aren’t thrilled to do, a bit more fun. A little pressure can go a long way towards getting un-fun things done.
Have a place for everything and put it back when you’re done with them.
I know it sounds simple, but we can waste a huge amount of time looking for simple things. Whether it’s a file on your computer or the stapler. Have a place for everything and keep it right where you can find it.
Focus, focus, focus and STOP procrastinating.
Many of us waste tons of time chasing shiny objects, getting distracted. Or we put off the dreaded task that we really don’t want to do and it winds up being more of a hassle than just getting it done in the first place.
Assign a time, set a timer and don’t get up until it’s done! If you start training your brain this way, you will come to realize that the “dreaded” takes less time and isn’t as bad as you thought it would be. And you are getting things DONE!
Learn to love discipline.
Discipline ultimately provides freedom. If you are getting things done during the allotted time then your brain is free to unplug and relax afterward. You are actually there for you family after work, because you were productive while you were there, rather than being distracted by what you didn’t do.
Learn what your personal time-wasters are and eliminate them.
Facebook surfing, piddling around the house straightening things that are out of place, clearing clutter (that should never have been allowed to get there in the first place). Once you know what your favorite personal time wasters are, it's usually easy to come up with a strategy to stop doing them. Noticing time wasting activities and deciding to stop is the first step.
Review your results daily.
What worked? What didn’t? What can you do better tomorrow? What do you need to schedule time for? How much progress did you make?
By taking a few minutes every afternoon to reflect on results and then first thing in the morning to review what’s coming up, you will have a better sense of understanding and more importantly, control over your day.
Kim Peterson is a passionate Health & Wellness Advocate and the Founder and CEO of CommonSenseHealth.org. Since 2009, CSH has been helping to establish an online presence while generating leads and sales for Health & Wellness clients worldwide. Prior to CSH, Kim was the Founder of Light Force Therapy, a company that rapidly became a multi-million-dollar leader in the light therapy industry.
Kim has built a network of 120,000 + highly engaged subscribers, fans, and followers which produce consistent sales and expands daily; and speaks on how to build relationships via social media in such a way that will dramatically improve your (and your team’s) overall results while opening doors to opportunities you never knew existed!
To inquire about booking Kim to speak or lead a training, please click here and offer a few details in the message area. Kim will get back with you personally to discuss.
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