By Elizabeth Bowman, Innovatively Organized
Are you constantly in a balancing act juggling activities, tasks, and events each day? Do you ever get to the end of your day and wonder where all the time went? Having good time management skills will not only lower your stress level, but also impress your clients, co-workers, and boss.
Here are 8 ways to make sure you make the most of your precious time:
1. Start your day by spending 15 minutes planning your to-do list. A to-do list serves as a reference that allows you to stay on task, so you spend more time getting things done instead of trying to recall what you need to do.
2. Organize your business cards and make it easy to reach out and follow up with your contacts. Implement a CRM tool if you don’t have one yet and it will be even easier to keep track of important details and reminders connected to your contacts.
3. Follow the “2 minute rule.” If you have a task that can be accomplished in 2 minutes or less (like answering an email or paying a bill), do it right away, rather than put it off for later.
4. Create an efficient workspace to ensure you can find what you need when you need it. If items you use often are within easy reach, it will cut down on the time you spend walking back and forth to retrieve supplies. Keep your desk clear of clutter because having a desk free of clutter means less time spent sifting through piles and searching for items.
5. Schedule blocks of time to return phone calls, read, and respond to emails, and be available to your co-workers. Investing the time to respond and interact allows you to be proactive with your time, rather than reactive and constantly interrupted.
6. Make the most of apps. Think about a challenge or situation that leads to a loss of your productive time. If you spend a great deal of your time on the road, consider a traffic app that will help you avoid back-ups and delays. Does trying to remember passwords take up your time? Use a password manager app. With a little research you’ll find, “there’s an app for that.”
7. Manage your social media efficiently by using apps like Hootsuite or Tweetdeck to provide an easy dashboard-like view of your social media conversations throughout the day. Tools like these enable quick management of your various accounts from a single source. You will be amazed by how much time you save now that you won’t have to log into six different sites each day to see your messages, news, etc.
8. When possible, delegate tasks or responsibilities that someone else can handle. We can’t always do it all ourselves, so when you need to, ask for assistance.
For more tips on managing your time during the day and being more productive, download Innovatively Organized’s Time Management webinar or attend an upcoming webinar on Feb 2, 2012 called “Time Management 201: Gaining Control of Your Workflow”.
To read more tips from Innovatively Organized and organizing and productivity expert, Elizabeth Bowman, check out the Innovatively Organized blog, where new tips and tricks are posted regularly. Innovatively Organized is a Seattle-based organizing and productivity firm that provides effective organizing solutions for busy professionals, teams, and families to better manage their time, increase productivity, and gain control of their spaces. You can contact Elizabeth Bowman via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, twitter at @iOrganized or visit her website at www.InnovativelyOrganized.com.