Monitor Your Time
things” are the seemingly insignificant moments that we spend in a less than productive way. Over a lifetime, those days, hours and minutes can add up to a huge chunk of time that might have been better invested.
2. Maintain your focus on accomplishing the most vitally-important task at all times during the business day. Doing this will set you apart from most people. Unsuccessful people are often very busy, but they’re seldom working on the most productive task.
3. Create a “tickler” system to remind you in advance of upcoming assignments, events, special dates and deadlines. “Ticklers” are periodic reminders you add to your day organizer. Preparation gives you a great advantage and regular reminders provide time to prepare for any situation or task.
4. Monitor your time for one week. Account for every hour and every minute within that hour. At the end of the week, review it. Total the hours and how they were spent. If you honestly separate real productive time from the other activities in your life, you’ll be sure to spot obvious opportunities for improving effectiveness.
5. Recognize when a directional shift is required. If a process or strategy isn’t
working for you and you seem to be spinning your wheels, stop and make a change. Minimize your loss in time and energy when your efforts don’t seem to be going anywhere. Modify your approach. Adjust. Regroup in a way that does work for you.
6. Watch out for the little time-wasters. Saving a couple of minutes each day can make a huge difference over a lifetime. Think efficiency. Condition this into your very core. Then, pay attention to the time spent standing in front of the closet trying to decide what clothes to wear, or looking for your car keys when you’ve misplaced them. Your life is nothing more than a collection of minutes, hours and days.
7. Record an accurate log of the time required to complete each project, job, assignment or task. Such a document will help you with future estimates of time requirements. Seeing it on paper is often a revelation. You’ll spot areas where efficiency could be improved.
8. Analyze early. Know when a project is due and what must be done to meet the specified details. Before you launch into full scale action, determine the general steps that are required for completion. Create a basic breakdown of major sources or contributors to the job. A list might include the library, coworkers, outside vendors, and the client. What would be required of each? What work can be done in your office? What information or supplies must be gained elsewhere? A quick analysis gives you a better scope of the work ahead.
9. Use your work time for actual work—those tasks that will help you finish one job after another. Get busy doing the important things for the project in front of you. Leave all your planning and organizing for the end of the day, after the important daily work is completed.