Stacey Soble recently posted in Salontoday.com 15 Tips to Help Stressed Out Professionals to Better Manage Their Time. You do not have to be stressed out or a professional to need to manage your time most effectively. For neither all of us there is not enough time and too much to do. The list is from the book Wait a Hot Minute! How to Manage Your Life with the Minutes You Have by Jackie Gaines (Fire Starter Publishing, 2016, ISBN: 978-1-6221805-4-7, $28.00).
I have reduced the list of 15 to the 5 most important. They are most important because they provide the greatest leverage in managing your time and they are the most challenging to practice every day.
Get Enough Sleep
Without enough sleep you cannot be productive and you definitely cannot be on top of your game. Lack of sleep slows you down, slows your thinking and saps creativity. If you want to improve your productivity and your best use of time make adequate sleep a top priority.
Manage Your Email; Don’t Let It Manage You
This is a tricky one. It depends on how you use email. For example I use email throughout my work day and I cannot turn if off for long. The nature of my work is such that people need answers from me or action from me throughout the day for a large number of different things.
Gaines says to turn your email off during productive time and in general I agree – the more you can ignore email the more you will get done. But if you need to keep in touch with people who need your response quickly you may not have the luxury of turning it off for long periods of time.
If you can turn it off do it. But if you cannot learn to manage it. You do not need to respond to or even completely read every email as it pops into your in box. Develop a strategy to prioritize emails – only respond immediately to the most important, leave the less important and less urgent to a block of time when you can clean up the in box and clear them out. It is a better use of time.
Learn to Say No and Mean It
This is a very hard one for many people including me. I like to serve others. I like to help. I like to stay on top of things. For those that think that way saying no can be difficult but it is crucial to learn to do it.
If you do not learn to say no and mean it you will be pulled in a 1000 different directions and lose control over your own time. Again, it is a matter of prioritizing and only say yes to what is important and what is consistent with your goals.
Set Achievable Goals Each Day
Everyone knows it is important to set goals but not everyone sets them each day. One powerful way to do that is to begin each day going over your task list and appointments and then identifying the 3 most important things you need to achieve that day. That is your goal list for that day.
Stick to it.
Listening well is crucial to saving time. You want to gather information efficiently. You do not want to waste time listening over and over to messages or to what others are telling you. If you listen well you save time. By all means make sure you completely understand what others are telling you – but do not listen half way and then miss out on what may be important.
If you can master these 5 time-management skills and really apply them each day you will have greater control over your time and get more done in less time. Hone these skills and you will master your time and efforts.
Get free lessons on how to use your time more effectively with my Effective Time Management Lessons.
Daniel R. Murphy
Educating people for building wealth, adapting to a changing future and personal development.