5 Simple Tips to Help Manage Your Time
Did you click on the headline of this blog post eager to find the simple secrets of time management? Well, I have to admit, that headline was kind of wishful thinking. Time management isn’t easy (at least, not for many of us—including me) and we’re all looking for the simple solutions that will solve all our problems.
I don’t have one easy answer, but I do have some tips I can share—some that work for me, and some that my fellow female entrepreneurs swear by. Hopefully some or all of them will work for you:
- Get mobile. I couldn’t live without my BlackBerry, and my two business partners who finally bit the bullet and got BlackBerries love them too. It’s great being able to check e-mail without having to haul out a laptop. Being responsive to potential clients can make all the difference in getting the sale, so if you don’t yet have a smartphone or netbook, check out these tools and learn how they can help you be more productive.
- First things first. As a business owner, it’s easy to get caught up in putting out fires or answering e-mails, only to realize at the end of a 12-hour day that you didn’t accomplish anything of real importance. Every evening, figure out the one key task you need to accomplish the next day—and focus on that first. Yes, you may get interrupted, but if you go back to what really matters (whether it’s a proposal, a big job for a key client or maybe two hours of strategic thinking), your business will keep moving forward.
- Take time for you. I know this is a cliché and easier said than done, but grab time where you can to do something that relaxes you. Maybe that’s 15 minutes of checking your Facebook friends, meditating or catching up on a DVR’d soap opera. Don’t worry what anyone else thinks of your relaxation method, just do it. You’ll feel better.
- Delegate. Another tip that’s easier said than done for most women. We have trouble letting go. I recently read an article that said women are multitaskers at home and tend to carry that behavior to the workplace—often to their detriment. The same day, I read an article for top execs that advised, “Delegate everything you can.” Which behavior are you following?
- Streamline and simplify. Today’s technology allows us to automate many tasks or at least handle them online, eliminating time on the phone or in line. Take advantage of these tools whenever you can. One way to simplify is with business advice from SCORE counselors online, whenever you need it. Visit the SCORE website to find out more.