Guest post by Sara Dawkins
There are not enough hours in the day and enough days in the week to get your work done. Unless you know how to extend 24 hours to 34 hours, the only option you really have is to manage your time better. It’s easier than it sounds. All you need to do is step back, take an evaluation, and make some lists and get to work. Check it out:
First things first
Every morning before beginning your work, take a time to look over your calendar, to do lists and other tasks. Prioritize according what you deem most important to complete first. Then decide how long that will take to accomplish. At the start of each task, whether you are a making a conference call or writing a proposal, figure out the goals you want to attain and stay on track. Ready, set, go!
Once you have your list set for the day, be sure to calculate for interruptions such as a last minute meeting, bathroom/coffee breaks and phone calls. Keep in mind that you are trying to complete each task in a high quality manner so be realistic and honest with yourself. Every minute counts.
Your enemies and your vices: Texting, Facebook, Blogs, YouTube and Twitter. Save the fun stuff for your lunch break or in the evenings when you are home. You don’t have to answer the phone every time it rings and you don’t have to reply to emails once they come in. Schedule time each day to respond to messages at one time and not scattered throughout. Also ‘Do not disturb’ signs are not just for hotel rooms but great for your office door. Do your best to stay offline and don’t worry your Facebook friends will still like you.
Write it out
Writing everything down will help you judge how much time you need for tasks in your future. Taking notes during phone calls, meetings and other discussions will give you an idea what was discussed during those times. Looking over your notes you may find a common topic and three different delivery methods; from there you can possibly condense by having one conference call rather than those three delivery methods.
Tread lightly in this area; be sure you are in a place to say no. But if you realize you are not able to take on another task, don’t be afraid to say no. If you are unable to say no ask for an extension or what the priority level it is. This can help with your time management.
Timing is everything, take a step back and give yourself time to organize daily. And don’t beat yourself up if you are not able to complete a task, some things are beyond your control until then follow a few simple rules and happy time management!