If you read books on management or are used to attending seminars on the subject, you must be feeling overwhelmed with tricks and tips of all kind. Here are five techniques that come straight out of Dan Kennedy’s book “Time management for entrepreneurs”.
1. Make lists and use them. There isn’t a single time management method that doesn’t tell you to make lists. Here are 4 different categories that you should learn to use:
– “My schedule”: Schedule your priorities for today as well as the rest of the year.
– “To-do-lists”: Organize your tasks between days, weeks, months, etc.
– “To call”: Make an alphabetical list of all the people you have to ring.
– “My planned questions”: Write down the names of all the people you met during during the day and the questions you think of asking them next time you get a chance to meet.
Establish some sort of list system and try to organize it as often as possible.
2. Give your memory a break and get a tickler file
This idea is pretty simple! Get different coloured files, and assign them to each month of the year. Now imagine you have to follow a client for 2 months. Take your document, place it in the blue file for example and clearly write down the execution date. When the blue month comes up, you will have all your documents for that month ready in the right order. A good tickler file helps prevent overwork, and is a useful reminder that helps you manage your daily tasks.
Thanks to this technological area, there are lots of programs out there to help you organise your time if you prefer your digital habits.
3. Cut down on meetings
Nothing has ever gotten accomplished during a meeting. For employees, meetings are just a way of showing presence and wasting their time. This isn’t really the place where the work actually gets done. If you are the speaker, make sure you get straight to the point. If you have to participate in the meeting, find a way to avoid them if they aren’t essential.
4. Make a time schedule
Most people have agenda’s that only contain meeting set a long time in advance. You must also take some time for yourself. Time that you stick to. Why not plan an entire day that you only spend on phone calls?
Clear out every month some time for particular tasks. If you open your agenda well in advance and assign hours for specific activities, you could optimise your schedule.
5. Enjoy unexpected moments
Everything is portable today. From seminars to books, information is either on CD, a DVD, online, on your Ipad or your computer. You can use Youtube for better reasons than just the fun of watching dancing cats. You don’t have any excuse left for wasting your time in public transport, traffic jam or a waiting room.
Others use these moments to return calls, text messages or emails. This might not be the best thing to do. Imagine if you send a text too fast and do take the time to think about your answer properly?
Scott Turow, a famous writer, wrote his first novel every morning on the train as he was headed to work. Around him, people were just waisting his time, nevertheless he wrote his book alone. Time counts, even if you’re thinking “it’s only 10 minutes”, you’re wrong.