When you own a business, everyone—partners, vendors, or those under your employ—will naturally try to seek some of your time for whatever reason. It’s very easy to experience a consistent stream of requests, interruptions, and other time-sucking meetings throughout your day that could easily disrupt your schedule. But whether at home or in the workplace, having a good grasp of time management would help improve your life and result in more positive relationships. In the event that you constantly find yourself unable to manage your time and struggling to deal with your schedule, below are practical tips to help you get back on track.
There’s a wide array of apps that could easily act as your personal assistant, or a second one if you already have one. Leverage these apps to help hold yourself more accountable for how you use your time. For instance, every desktop computer, laptop, tablet, and smartphone has a built-in calendar and alarm apps that could alert of scheduled events and upcoming meetings. When configuring the alarm feature, set your alarm 10 to 15 minutes before your meeting, or an hour or two before your event, so it will act as your active cue to wrap up anything you’re currently engaged and prepare for your next scheduled thing.
Review Your Day
Before you even going about your day and doing your tasks, take some time to review your day. This is often overlooked, but any effective way to help make certain that you stay on schedule—pore over the day’s meetings, catch up with your assistant (personal or digital), check your cloud-based project scheduling software, etc. Whenever possible, never start your day without completing your time plan. Doing so will give you sufficient uninterrupted time to see what’s ahead of you, get a general layout of your schedule for the day, and the opportunity to scope out potential issues such as scheduling or travel time, for example, before they even occur. It’s also a good idea to allow five to 10 minutes before every phone call, video conference, or meeting to refresh yourself and organize your thoughts before diving back into work mode again.
Prioritize Important vs. Urgent
We live in a fast-paced digital world full of constant distractions and easy access so it is quite difficult for any business owner to balance what’s important and what requires urgent attention. But this distinction is an immensely critical aspect of successful time management and will help you better deal with the various interruptions throughout your day so you can manage your time more wisely. For instance, responding to phone calls or emails at scheduled intervals instead of going at it the moment they come in will help you make the most of your time.
Although no one method or tool alone could bring back time lost, leveraging the tips above could help you map out your time and understand where you’re spending it so you could learn to create the right practices and boundaries to effectively manage your time.