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Who can spend your time but you?
I seem to be consumed by things I feel I don’t have much control over, and so I’m not able to do the important things I need – and want – to do.
Your time is your responsibility. If you aren’t able to do the important things, only you can solve that problem. Your team is depending on you to be there for them, and that includes solving your personal problems.
One of the major sources of stress, anxiety, and unhappiness comes from feeling like your life is out of control. You need to figure out ways to take control of your time so that you can take control of your life.
Of course, there are some things we cannot change about the way we spend our time. Can you guess? Yes, we have to wait in lines, at red lights, for elevators, and things like that. There’s not much we can do about those things. However there is a lot we can do about situations at work.
There’s a myth out there no one seems to recognize, and it’s this: No one can save time… we all have the same amount, and we can’t carry any time over to the next day.
I only know of two ways to spend time better. In managing your money, you either spend less or make more money. With time management, it’s do less or do things faster. Of course there are some things we could eliminate and just say no to. But for right now let’s just focus on how to do things faster.
As a business owner, I can make improvements in three areas: prioritizing/organizing, interruptions, and meetings.
Hold onto your seats because you’re in for a treat. Hopefully after reading this valuable insight you can start implementing them today!
Paper management – Keep the paper moving. Throw it away, act upon it, or put it in your reading pile. Shuffling and reshuffling paper from pile to pile with no evaluation or action is wasting your time.
Set aside uninterrupted planning time every day – It was difficult to discipline myself to do this but I found that spending twenty minutes planning would yield the same results as sixty minutes of uninterrupted time. Therefore, if you can’t set aside twenty, set aside ten. That’s still a great return on your time investment!
Clean your desk– I think you should always be able to see the majority of the top of your desk. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that a cluttered desk makes you look important. It actually makes you look disorganized and contributes to the shuffling and reshuffling game.
Control your email deliveries – You don’t go to your mailbox every 30 minutes, do you? Some of you are worse, you check it every 5 minutes! I personally receive a lot of emails every day – I could be at my computer responding all day just to email. Instead, I work my email deliveries into my personal schedule so that emails don’t control my day.
Do activities together – Do all your voicemails at once, return calls at one time, write memos or letter at one sitting…the goal is to eliminate as many transitions from one activity to another as possible.
Go to lunch at 11am or after 1pm – Why everyone decides to go to lunch at noon is a mystery to me. They wait at the elevator, wait in line at the deli, then wait again back at the elevator…and then complain about not having enough time for lunch!
Meetings – If everyone is prepared, on-time and focused – most meetings can be accomplished in half the time the meeting is currently taking. When it comes to meetings, always begin a meeting by covering the most important items first. And lastly, start and end your meetings on time. When people show up late, don’t recap what you’ve covered because when you do that you’re actually rewarding the tardy person and punishing the people who were on time.
Overall, you know that your time is your responsibility. Take control of it and then you can take control of your life. Look for small increments of time by prioritizing, limiting interruptions, and effectively managing meetings.
The average person wastes about 250 hours per year in unproductive meetings . That’s a lot of time and money being wasted!
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