Time is one of those things that slips away, especially when you are busy juggling multiple tasks. Events seem to converge to a point where there aren’t enough hours in the day for even the best time management expert to get everything completed. However, there are some ways you can leverage your time better, so that you can complete all your tasks on schedule.
Top Time Management Tips
Time Tip # 1: Plan Ahead
President Abraham Lincoln once said, “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the ax.” Lincoln knew a thing or two about the importance of preparation and planning in regards to time management. He intrinsically understood that if you make a plan, even if that plan goes slightly awry, that you will use your time more efficiently than if you just head into a project and try to complete it by the seat of your pants.
There are many different ways to make a plan. For example, if you are planning an event, you might use some of the event planning checklists we’ve created for you on this site. That will keep you from forgetting an important element and will keep you organized and on point.
Time Tip # 2: Know When to Delegate
Knowing how to delegate is a vital skill that all business people should learn if they want to make the most of their time. However, it is also important to know what tasks you can delegate and what tasks you should complete yourself.
Anything that requires your direct input and personal creativity should be a task you complete yourself. However, smaller tasks, such as filing paperwork, making phone calls, and other tasks that don’t require your direct skills and knowledge.
Time Tip # 3: Figure Out Ways to Automate Tasks
Anything you can do that automates a task frees up your time to build your business. One example would be utilizing event planning software. Instead of spending countless hours inputting information into a database, you can automate the information collection process, mailings, and reminders. Even small tasks that are automated can add up to hours saved at the end of the week.
Time Tip # 4: Give Yourself Deadlines
Entrepreneur recommends that you set deadlines for yourself in order to become as productive as possible. Setting a deadline can help you stay on task and work more efficiently, even if it is not an official deadline. Break down larger tasks with smaller deadlines. Give deadlines to those working with you to keep everyone on track.
Time Tip # 5: Rate Your Tasks
Figure out which tasks are the most important tasks and complete those first. You can either rate tasks as important and unimportant, or use a system of rating them A, B, C, D and so on, with A being the most urgent. This allows you to focus on the most important items on your to-do list. If you complete the As, you can then begin working on the Bs and on down the list until you are out of time that day.
Time Tip # 6: Take Time for You
One of the best things you can do is to spend a bit of time on your own physical and mental health. Take a walk, spend a few minutes deep breathing, and eat healthier. If you feel better, you’ll have more energy and be better able to complete more tasks on your long to-do list.
Time Tip # 7: Escape Social Media
Have you ever thought you’d just jump online and check your Facebook wall and suddenly are caught up in a lively discussion, pictures of you second cousin’s wedding, or the latest funny cat videos. Social media can be a great way to network and promote your business, but it can also be a huge time suck. It’s a smart strategy to make it off limits during work hours unless you are exclusively doing social media promotions. Save it for your off work time and you’ll save untold hours wasted.
Making More Time
Obviously you can’t make more hours in the day than there already are. However, you can make the most of those hours you have by using the tips listed here and being aware of how you spend your time. Use timers and lists to make sure you’re staying on task and limit your distractions.