Having a New Years Resolution makes you and anyone you share your resolution with groan. Setting goals instead of resolutions will make it possible for you to succeed. In this post, Bonnie Joy Dewkett, the Joyful Organizer, shares ten tips on how to better manage your time. If ten tips overwhelms you, break it down and adopt one new tip each month as we work our way through 2014. By the end of the year, you’ll feel more in control of not only your time, but your life.
By Bonnie Joy Dewkett
If you are a busy mom or the president of a company, managing your time is a critical skill that you need to master in order to be as successful as you want to be.
Here are some easy to implement tips that you can adopt in your daily life.
1. Keep a time journal. You don’t have to write things down every minute of every day. However, it is important to really know how long you spend doing things. It is also important to compare how long you think things take versus how large a piece of your day they actually consume.
2. Say no to one thing. Really evaluate what is important to you and only take on new tasks that meet your life and business goals.
3. Don’t be afraid to walk away from things. If a project hasn’t been profitable, or isn’t turing out how you had imagined, don’t beat yourself up. Instead, realize that the time you have invested is gone and that you have learned valuable lessons. Then, walk away with your head held high!
4. Plan your day. Instead of simply doing what comes up during the course of the day, plan ahead and know what you need and want to accomplish.
5. Make time for you. There is no shame in scheduling time for self care, working out and spending time with friends.
6. Pick a priority and stick with it. This may mean you do your hardest tasks first. It may mean you do the most profitable things first. However, you need to set some guidelines and then prioritize your tasks that way.
7. Clean up at the end of the day. Take ten to fifteen minutes at the end of your day to clean up your office, kitchen or emails. Doing so gives you time to decompress from the day and allows you to come back to a clean work space the next day!
8. If you have tasks on your list that have been sitting there for ages…there is probably a reason that you haven’t done them. Many times we put off things we don’t know how to begin. Stop and think about the smaller tasks that need to be completed in order to accomplish the larger task. Then, schedule these smaller tasks on your schedule. Keep appointments with yourself just like you would keep an appointment with your boss or doctor.
9. Limit the number of distractions you allow. While you can’t stop urgent matters from coming up or keep the kids from getting sick, you can schedule time each day to close the office door, stop answering the phone or turn off the internet.
10. If there are tasks you can afford to outsource or tasks you should be delegating, do it! Take the time necessary to train those around you to help you. So often, people are thrilled to have more responsibility!
Time management is about learning what works for you. It is a constantly changing process. Being a good time manager is about paying attention to how you spend your time and realizing that it is up to you to take control of it. Know that it is your most precious resource, and focusing on the here and now, instead of the future, can really help you accomplish more.
Bonnie Joy Dewkett is a Certified Professional Organizer® and Director of Communications for the Board of Certification for Professional Organizers. She also has her own professional organizing business, The Joyful Organizer®.