Time Management – Does It Really Exist?
Would you like to have more hours in your day?
Lately, I had more conversations about this than before, so I thought I’d give you my take on it. I do not really believe in time management; time goes by and if WE do not do anything during that time, it’s gone! Therefore, managing time (i.e. what we do and when) I see more as self-control or self-discipline. Sometimes it can be a business necessity, but in most cases it is our choice to answer a phone call right the second when the phone rings or read/ respond to an email the moment it arrives to the inbox, no matter what we do at that particular moment.
What would extra several hours a day do for you? If you need that, you can make it happen!
• Take couple minutes each morning to plan your day. You need to know what’s important, when and what tasks need to be done.
• Prioritize your tasks. Write down your daily or weekly tasks, prioritize them, and complete the most important ones first. Every day is full of distractions, so the list will keep you focused.
• Turn off email/message notifications (especially sound). This is a number one distraction! When we see / hear an email or a message coming in, our human curiosity takes over and we have to see “what’s there”. It may seem to take a second to do that, but in reality it takes a lot more time than that. Remember, your focus gets disrupted, and in addition to time reading the message or responding, you will need to refocus again to what you were doing prior to that.
• Return phone calls and respond to emails several times a day at a scheduled time (unless of course, there is an emergency), unless it is absolutely crucial in your business to have instant human response. Otherwise, set up times for responding to emails and returning phone calls several times during the day. This will not only eliminate the unnecessary distraction during the day, but also will enable you to be more efficient and focused which usually translates into less time spent.
• Hire help to answer the phone calls, respond to email, etc. I often hear that “oh, I should answer the phone when a customer calls because I know things best”. Well, guess what… yes, you may be very knowledgeable, but you will never grow your business if you want to do it all by yourself. So it is really your choice.
• Learn to say NO. I know it is hard; sometimes it is hard for me too. However, you cannot do it all or help/ talk to everyone who approaches you.
• Make these above your daily routine.