Time management tips – part one

How do you manage your time?  Have you found, when working on your own, whether from home or not, that you need to be disciplined and structure your hours, or time can slip imperceptibly through your hands and you can end up wondering what you have done with your day.

  Here are some tips that I found helpful to get you started.

  • Get up early!  This seems too obvious to mention, but if you’re ready to go at 8am you’ll get more done.  You may be a night owl and not an early bird, but if you start after 9am or take too long over your morning coffee, you’ll find that you spend the rest of the day trying to catch up.
  • Write a to-do list.  Obvious too, but how do you use this useful tool?  Write it at the end of the previous day so that it is ready for you in the morning.  Divide it into two. One will be a list of things that cannot be completed in one day but need regular time scheduled for them.  The second will be a list of what you have to do in the day.
  • Scheduling.  This is linked to the to-do list.  Decide on a time for each task, both large and small.  With your long-term tasks, block in half an hour or however much time you plan to spend on them, on your schedule – this could be useful for administrative tasks that need to be done regularly for your business, such as bookkeeping.  Stick to the time you have allocated, use a timer if you have to, or else you’ll find you’ve spent all morning on one task and are again trying to catch up.
  • Do two or three quick tasks first.  This will get you going and also it will feel encouraging to have crossed two or three things off your list quite quickly.  Then you are more motivated to tackle the bigger tasks.

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