Time management tips, for busy people
Are there any busy people out there?
There are a ton of little gadgets and things out there to help you to better manage your time. After all, your productivity is directly proportionate to how well you can manage the little time that you have.
Time management techniques that anyone can use
You can get a day planner or PDA. You can get virtual assistants. You can hire people to do the little things that can be outsourced. Rolodexes, reminder calls and daily reports are all great tools. By all means, use what ever helps you to keep track of what needs to be done. Personally, I am way low tech. I use index cards. I’ve written about them here. How to stop procrastination and get more done. I call them my daily business plans. Otherwise known as a “to do list!”
Let’s take a quick step back and see things from a different perspective. What are you doing with your time, now? Are you using it wisely? Maybe you are and maybe you aren’t. Do you really know how you are using your time?
Great, more home work. Sorry! It has to be done.
Time management tips #1
Know how you are spending your time
For the next two weeks, take the challenge and see exactly where all of your time goes.
You’ll need to get some sort of journal. I’d like you to track everything that you do for the next 2 weeks. You can go for a longer period, if you can. You should be able learn what you need to know if you can only do it for two weeks.
You will want to start at the moment you wake up and write everything down, each day, until you go to sleep. Also, keep track of the amount of time that is spent on each activity. I think you will be surprised how you “really” spend you days.
Try to be as detailed as you can. Write down what you did and how long it took to do it. It might be “I showered for 15 minutes, got dressed 10 minutes, that’s if you’re a guy. It might be a bit longer if you are female and you decided that the black pumps looked better with the red dress than the cute gray boots. No offense, ladies! Ate breakfast, 20 minutes, drove to the office, 25 minutes, talked to Bob, on the way into the building, about the game last night. Rode the elevator with Mary from accounting. We talked about her sick sister.
Hopefully, you’re getting the picture.
At the end of the day, read what you did that day. Do you see anything that surprises you? How many people did you talk to today? Did you or have you prospected them yet? Why not? You can use the stealth prospecting method I discussed here.
At the end of two weeks, you should have a pretty good idea how you are spending your time. Are you being the least bit productive, in your business?
Most people don’t have any idea how they really spend their time or their money. Want to have some fun, do this with how you spend your money. Write down where your money is really being spent. If you’ve ever had someone tell you that they don’t have the money to join your business, ask them to do that for a month. I think they can “find” the money somewhere in there!
Maybe you go the movies every Friday night or play poker on Tuesdays. You could be watching a football game on Sunday afternoon and Monday night and Thursday night. That’s a lot of football!
At this juncture, it really doesn’t matter how you are spending your time. As long as you know how you’re spending it!
Time management tips #2
Prioritize your time
When you are first starting to build a business, you need to accomplish certain tasks, every day. Things like meeting new people, talking to old friends and developing relationships. Moving them through your “prospecting funnel.” You need to find out who is open to the idea of owning their own business and those who are not.
You need to spend time advertising and marketing. You can call people and talk to them. You’ll want to expand your knowledge base and you skill sets. All of this takes time. The one commodity that we all are given, in equal amounts. The rich guy and the poor guy have the same amount of time given to them, each day.
It’s all a matter of how you use the time that you are given.
Use it wisely!
Maybe you don’t need to go to the movie every Friday night. Twice a month is fine. You don’t need to watch 6 football games a week. Watch the highlights on ESPN. You’ll be fine!
Use the extra time that you have just “made” and do the things that will grow your business!
Time management tips #3
Revisit time management tips #1
I would suggest that you repeat the whole process every 3-6 months. Or more often if you seem to hit a plateau. If you business was growing, then the growth slows down, you may be using your time in inefficient ways, again.
It’s fairly easy to back slide in the beginning. I do realize that all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. We all need to have some fun and relaxation time, too. “Fun time” can be used to prospect people on the sly. Read about Stealth Prospecting here. You don’t have to be obnoxious while you are on vacation! Do find some time for yourself!
There are a lot of books that you could read on the subject of time management. I’m not going to recommend any of them, per se. Most of them should have useful information in them.
If you practice these good time management skills you will become much more efficient in your use of your time. It will go a long way toward building a strong business.
Simple Time Management Tips
The best time management tip you can get is to know how your are using you time, now. Then reallocate your time to more productive tasks.
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