When considering this blog post’s topic—time management—I read a very interesting article published by Entrepreneur. It went on to explain that time can be thought of as two things: clock time and real time. While clock time is virtually inaccessible, real time is based on the activity at hand—it’s all mental. Clearly, an 8-hour work day is going to drag unlike an 8-hour party. The article went on to say that time management is all mental—it’s something you can create, and therefore manage.
Since February is Time Management Month, let’s chat and chew about how you can better manage your time.
Since time is always of the essence, it’s important to implement a time-management strategy from the get-go. Below are some techniques to help get you started.
- Using your phone or a planner, make a schedule of all your thoughts, conversations, and activities you need to accomplish in the week ahead. This is a great way to really understand what’s on your plate, as well as understand how much you can realistically get done in a day. If you’re not producing the results you expected, you can begin to examine where time was wasted along the way.
- Unplanned interruptions are one of the key reasons I don’t get through a day’s list of activities, and while I’m guilty of them too, there has to be a way around them. Try factoring in scheduled time for these unavoidable moments. When they happen, you know you already set aside a specific amount of time and will not cause yourself to fall behind.
- Before you jump on a call or sit down in a meeting, take a couple minutes to gather your thoughts. So much time is wasted trying to figure out what it is we want to say—taking time to craft the desired result will ensure we not only use our time more wisely, we are more likely to achieve a more successful outcome.
- Do you use an internal messaging system? Maybe you are on g-chat throughout the day… regardless, when you absolutely need to get something done, don’t be afraid to put up the “do not disturb” message. You’ll be pleasantly surprised how quickly you can finish an assignment when people aren’t bombarding you with questions.
- If you see an email come through, are you likely to drop whatever you’re doing and look at it (or at least who sent it)? Guilty as charged. Try to practice not answering emails, phone calls, or text messages the second they come through. I can recount dozens of times I was in the middle of a project and a text or email came through that totally threw me off my train of thought. Whatever zone I was in was completely thrown off course, because now my focus shifted to whatever new information was presented.
- Social media is another “necessary evil” that also causes serious distractions. The average American spends 40 minutes a day on Facebook, which for me is enough time to write another blog post… or start on a marketing-related project. Unless you use social media to drive revenue or build brand awareness, limit your time or save it for after work hours.
While time management is no easy thing to master, there are several ways to help you become better at it. Do you have some skills of your own worth sharing? Let us know – leave a comment below and help other readers get the most out of their day too!