People that are self-employed often have a difficult time organizing their daily tasks, which is probably the single biggest thing that creates frustration and regrets for these professionals. That’s why it is important to talk a bit about time management and how to time management properly.
The work process is easily interrupted by unnecessary meetings, phone calls or other technological innovations, designed to ‘save’ you time. Even the highest-paid business owners or professionals experience difficulties in time management. Fortunately, all of this can be quickly eliminated, by following some very simple principles.
Here is a list of the six things that will influence your time management the most and enable you to quickly get your goals done, without any frustration or interruptions.
- Go over your schedule
What are you actually doing with your time? You should constantly be aware of what you are doing through your work day. Otherwise, it is easy to get sucked into tasks that do not matter and forgetting about time management. By being conscious of where you spend your time, you will quickly notice the times when you are being the most productive and the times where you seem to do things that do not matter and only dilute your work hours. You will also notice which the most important projects are and you will be able to spend the majority of your time on them.
- Schedule your breaks
Once you notice all the unnecessary things you do in order to distract yourself, simply schedule a time to do them in advance. By doing that you are creating ‘breaks’, which are necessary for you to replenish your energy and stay sharp. Also, notice when you are the most productive and when you do not really feel like working. For some people the mornings are the most suitable for work, for others it is evenings.
- Check your email once per day
For some people that is not possible, but for the majority of professionals spending a large amount of time checking and responding to mail is unnecessary. Set a time aside when you check and respond to mail and do not do it while you are working on other tasks. This will also reduce stress and anxiety that is often created by problem customers.
- Focus on one thing at a time
Most people cannot focus on what is actually important while they are talking on the phone or checking mail. Everyone who does that simply does not know how to time management effectively. Another common issue is trying to get two projects finished at the same time. The result is almost often the same – none of the projects get done.
- Ignore what distracts you
Do not be afraid to temporarily avoid or ignore colleagues or close your office door to avoid distractions. People will understand that you are busy, especially the ones that know how to time management themselves.
- Give yourself rewards
Getting anything done takes discipline and focus, no matter how good your schedule is. You should feel proud of yourself for completing the important tasks and being productive. Also, do not be hard on yourself if once in a while you slip up and you have an unproductive day – you’re only human and you cannot constantly think about time management. Most people underestimate the amount of commitment and hard work it requires to properly schedule your tasks and make an effective use of your time. However, in the long run it pays off.
If you do not learn to properly manage your time, the to-do tasks tend to pile up and you will quickly start feeling overwhelmed. This is especially true if you are dealing with tasks that do not ‘go away’ and which only you can complete.