At some point in your life, you've read about time management or tried to use a planner to organize your day. Though you’ve tried different tools, you may feel like you can't get everything done.
That’s because time management planners don’t work, says authors Joe Mathews, Don Debolt and Deb Pervical for an article on entrepreneuer.com. The authors say planners are designed to manage clock time, and clock time is irrelevant. We live in real time, a world in which all time flies when we’re having fun or drags when we’re bored.
The good news is that real time is mental. Anything you create, you can manage. It's important to remove self-limitation about "not having enough time" to manage your business properly. And, it’s important to remember that there are only three ways to spend time: thoughts, conversations and actions.
As a manager, you may be pulled in different directions. While you cannot eliminate interruptions, you do get a say on how much time you will spend on them and how much time you will spend on the thoughts, conversation and actions that will lead you to success.
Practice these techniques to become the master of your own time:
1. Carry a schedule and record all your thoughts, conversations and activities for a week to help you understand how much time is spent producing results and how much time is wasted.
2. Assign time to activities or conversation that are important to your success. Use an appointment book to schedule time blocks for high-priority thoughts, conversations and actions.
3. Plan to spend at least 50% of your time engaged in the thoughts, activities and conversations that produce most of your results.
4. Schedule time for interruptions.
5. Take the first 30 minutes of every day to plan your day.
6. Take 5 minutes before every call and task to decide what result you want to attain. Do the same after each call to determine whether your desired result was achieved.
7. Put up a "Do not disturb" sign when you absolutely have to get work done.
8. Don't instantly give people your attention unless it's absolutely crucial to offer an immediate human response.
9. Block out social media distractions.
10. Remember that it's impossible to get everything done and that 20% of your thoughts, conversations and activities produce 80% of your results.