One thing in life that you can never get back is time. That is why managing your time effectively is so important. For an executive, spending two minutes to look up a phone number or five minutes to find a misplaced file doesn’t amount to much. But when you add these tasks up over a period of days, weeks, or months, that time could mean lost money for your business.
To make the most of your time and increase productivity, try these simple tips:
Organize your space
The simplest action you can take to increase personal productivity is to organize your space. This can mean making sure your writing materials are in a certain place or having your assistant arrange client files in the order you will be addressing them. In addition to organizing physical space, also consider organizing your virtual space. Having frequently used applications directly on your desktop prevents you from opening and closing menus to locate them. When saving documents, make sure to save them in the right folder, eliminating the need to search for them later.
Organize your time
Some people prefer to plan on a weekly basis, others on a daily basis. Whatever your preference, planning your day will keep you focused on necessary tasks and you will avoid getting caught in menial distractions. Set aside time each week, or day if you prefer, to schedule the tasks you know you need to get done. A great time to do this might be before you arrive to work or while drinking your morning coffee. Arrange your activities so that you can accomplish similar tasks in groups, eliminating the need to shift gears.
Make use of software applications
Evernote, a note taking application allows you to take notes on the go. You can make lists, record meetings, and take pictures. Notes are easily managed, accessible from many devices, and sharable. Project management applications such as Asana let you plan your day, map out projects, delegate responsibilities, set due dates, and check off completed tasks. Asana also integrates with many other applications, including Evernote. Buffer allows you to schedule social media posts weeks in advance all in one sitting. Let’s not forget Phocas. The Phocas dashboard makes accessing company information as easy as looking at your phone. You can use this information to help you prepare for meetings with your management team, follow your train of thought as well as see, question and act on the relevant data at a time that suits you.
Mark Twain wrote, “If it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And if it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.” In other words, take care of your most dreaded task first. Getting the dreaded task out of the way enables you to avoid procrastination and enjoy a productive remainder of the day.
Summing it up
It’s not necessary to micro manage your life in order to make the most of your time. In fact, being ultra sensitive to time management could create undue stress. However, by practicing a few time management skills, you can increase productivity, save money, and enjoy your non-working hours more.