How do you manage your time? Time slips by too quickly and can leave you wondering what you have achieved each day. Following on from Part One, here are some more tips that can be helpful in organising your day.
- Time track yourself. See how much time a task really takes. Perhaps you put things off thinking they take too much time or you think something will take half an hour only to emerge from it two hours later. Time each task for a day or so, so that you know how long your principal tasks generally take and then you’ll be able to create a realistic work schedule.
- Don’t procrastinate – do it! If it’s on your list, do it. Don’t waste time.
- Stop for lunch. Decide on a lunchtime and stick to it. If you decide on 1pm, stop then and take a break. If you find yourself eating at 2pm you’ll lose your focus and again find yourself trying to catch up.
- Mail. Dealing with both regular and electronic mail can eat up a lot of your valuable time and you can end up feeling swamped by paperwork or emails. Delete or throw away adverts, don’t waste time on them in case they might be useful. Action as much mail as possible immediately. If you think ‘I’ll do it later’, chances are you will find it still sitting there days later. You can answer some mail with a short email or note. Choose a certain time each day for dealing with mail, depending on the time that it arrives. If the mail arrives at 10am, choose 10 to 10.30am for it and include emails too. Choose times that are best for you and your business needs.
- Calls. Make a list, and choose a time to do them as for the mail. Decide roughly how long each call should take and try to keep to this.
- Finally, be flexible. Your schedule is not set in stone, it has to fit in with your day and take into account out of office meetings, urgent calls, sudden urgent work, etc. However, it can give your day structure and purpose.