Imagine this: You’re busy all the time. You’ve got more assignments than you know what to do with. You’re running continually just to get things done and still find time to see your kids for five minutes once a week.
How did your schedule get away from you?
First, congratulations on being so busy that you’re almost too busy. Hopefully, most of your full schedule stems from your booming business.
Not that that’s necessarily true. You can be busy trying to build your business. Or running errands. Shuttling the kids back and forth to school and soccer practice.
Or maybe you’re simply not the most organized person.
So, how can you reel it back under control?
Keep a calendar.
Remember that old saw about “a place for everything, and everything in its place?” It not only works for keeping your home and office neat, it works for your time, too. Do you have things that need to be done? Write them down. Then you can not only stop worrying about remembering to do them, but you have the time blocked off for it to make sure you do.
Make a plan.
Take a few minutes every day to think ahead to what you need to do. Plot out where you need to be, what you need to get done. (Don’t forget to stop for lunch.) Even just 10 minutes at the beginning of the day will make your work flow purposefully, rather than bouncing around like the ball in a pinball machine. You have time at the beginning of the day, before you’ve started answering emails, before you’ve started making phone calls—take advantage of it! You’ll accomplish more than you think.
Take good notes.
I don’t know about you, but I have a good memory. I rarely forget birthdays, I’m never late to appointments, and I can remember details from jobs I finished months ago. Yet … sometimes it fails me. I’ll say, “No, I don’t remember why we made that change,” and will search frantically for an email to back it up and … nothing. So, take notes. You never know when your own memory will fail, so it’s better to be safe than sorry—it saves all that crazed trouble-shooting later on.
Stop goofing off.
I don’t want to tell you to stop reading blogs (especially mine), or to avoid those online forums that give you support and ideas. Those are good things—but like many good things, they’re better in small doses. Like junk food, or dessert, they’re delicious, tasty, enjoyable … but a steady diet will leave you feeling bloated and tired, with no energy to accomplish anything. You can still play with your online friends, just, like Mom always said, do your homework first!
But, of course, you still deserve to play. You can’t work ALL the time. Make sure you make the time to play with your kids, take your dog for a walk, joke with your friends on Twitter, spend time with your favorite hobby. There’s no point in earning enough money for a good life if you don’t take the time to enjoy it.
Okay—your turn. What are your favorite time-management tips?