OK, so you won’t learn how to cook gourmet meals or how to fly a space rocket from reading this blog, but you hopefully will at least be on the right road to success. The key to success is being more effective in what you do and the key to being effective is by being more efficient in what you do. If you can be more efficient, achieving results in faster time, you will have additional hours in your working week either to apply yourself to get more done or look into new projects or ways of doing things. In fact time is the key to becoming a millionaire. Of course for some it’s timing – right place, right time – but even for those, it is usually a fact that they have striven hard to achieve even if that hasn’t been possible.
So being more in control of your time is the golden ticket to being better at just about everything so here are our 6 tips on how to improve your time management.
1. Acknowledge that ‘Time Management’ is just a meaningless buzzword
Don’t think of this as a magic wand. However good you become, there are only 24 hours in every day and you can manage that how you like, but without sleep, food and simple brain down time your success will be thwarted. Time is a set thing, what you need to manage is yourself. You need to create the balance between, work, life, and everything else.
2. Identify inefficiency
Working 24 hours a day won’t help you in the long run, in fact you are better stopping and re-appraising what you are doing for an hour or so to identify where you can be more efficient. In fact, to do it properly try to keep a time diary for a week. Note what you are doing and when. You will be surprised at the number of hours you spend ‘surfing the net’. Do you spend too long doing basic admin tasks that could be done by another less experienced person. However, big or small your business having a Man Friday or Woman Monday type person who can deal with the more basic tasks can often make a massive difference and give you more time to be doing the things that will actually earn you money.
3. Rate your tasks
From your time-use diary have a look at what you have been doing and properly assess what is most important to your success and to making money. This is probably the toughest part of the operation, but most important. Everything will be relevant and it is important to getting a fine balance. Don’t just choose the easy bits, or the fun bits and don’t narrow your focus too much either. However you also need to be realistic, remember this is a time management task, so you can’t cram everything in every day and do it justice.
4. Structure your day
Have set periods throughout your day. Do creative things when you are usually most creative, and mundane tasks when you are less creative but also less likely to make silly mistakes. Make sure you set an admin period too, so that those need to do tasks don’t get missed off. Realistic is important though. You probably won’t get even get all your priorities covered in a single day so as well as structuring your day also structure your week.
This is the key. Priority tasks don’t necessarily mean they have to be crammed in first, it just means they are more important to be done properly. So plan your priority tasks across the week, but make them the most important things you address in each of those days. In that way you will be able to give each of those priority tasks the proper focus, time and attention they need.
Don’t think that your first attempt at organising your life will be perfect. If it was that easy we’d all be doing it. It should be an ongoing process. Your priorities in life, in business and in the world in general will change over the time, so should your prioritised list. It is worth looking at it every week. Set a time, either at the end of the week or very start of the next. Choose your priorities and plan your week ahead. You will be surprised at how much extra your will get done.
Finally good luck, we didn’t say it was easy.