Article by Herb Kimble .
How to Trim the Fat from Your Workload and Squeeze More Time Out of Your Day
Most business owners are all too familiar with activities that can simultaneously take them in a dozen different directions. These activities can scatter your focus and leave you mentally and physically exhausted. At the end of the day you’re Justify wondering if you’ve accomplished anything of importance.
When this happens the first thing you should do is stop and take a deep breath. You didn’t start your business so you could be a stressed out wreck. You started your business so you could do what you love and be in control of things. In order to keep things under control, you need to stay focused and on task. The key to retaining your focus and staying on task is to master the art of time management.
Everyone has the same amount of time each day. We are all given 24 hours and the clock ticks the same whether you reside in the United States or at the North Pole. Time management skills can help you get the most out of every minute. Mastering them will turn you into an efficient, productive, time-stretching machine. Let’s take a look at ways you can trim the fat from your workload and squeeze more time out of your day.
Review your list. The first thing you should do is look at your daily “To-Do” list. It is too large or overly ambitious? Trim away the excess and keep only those activities that you absolutely have to finish. List them in order from the most important to the least important. As your day progresses, refer to your list often. Doing so will help you stay motivated to complete the tasks at hand. If other tasks come along that are not on your list, nix them and put them on the next day’s list.
Many people combine their business and personal activities into one “To-Do” list. Experts recommend that you keep a separate list for business and personal activities. Do your best not to engage in personal activities during your work hours and vice versa.
Plan your day. As you sit down to plan your activities for the day, ask yourself these two questions: 1) What is the most important thing I need to accomplish today? 2) How am I going to make money from this activity? Prioritize your list accordingly and set a deadline to accomplish each task.
If a task on your list cannot be accomplished in one day; break it down into smaller tasks. Research has proven that people who use a prioritized list with set deadlines are more productive and efficient than those who do not use a list.
Write things down. A common mistake is to try to use your memory to keep track of everything you want and need to accomplish. Keep a notebook with you at all times, so you can update your “To-Do” list, rearrange priorities and stay organized. Another option is to purchase a Dictaphone or small voice recorder that you can carry with you to record your thoughts.
Use a time management system. Time management systems include computer software, smart phone apps and time management templates. There are pros and cons to time management systems. On the one hand, they are very effective in doing their job. Most have options that not only keep you organized, but also remind you of important appointments.
The downside is that many people never fully understand how to use the software or devices. Oftentimes, they become frustrated and stop using the system altogether. If you’re going to use a time management system, spend time researching options that appeal to you before investing your money. Once you do invest, take time to learn how to use the system so you can enjoy the benefits.
Identify bad habits. Make a list of bad habits and situations that steal your time. In what ways are you sabotaging your goals and blocking your success? The answers might surprise you. A five minute phone call to Aunt Sally and a ten minute instant messaging session with your best friend can add up to many wasted hours over the course of the month. After you identify these time-waster’s, make a plan of how you can eliminate each one.
This article was written by Herb Kimble. Herb Kimble is an entrepreneur who has ran multiples companies, including sales & marketing companies. Most recently he has launched Urban Flix, a streaming network that specializes in multi-cultural content and CineFocus Productions, a film production company.
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