Chances are good that, at some time in your life, you've taken a time management class, read about it in books, and tried to use an electronic or paper-based day planner to organize, prioritize and schedule your day. "Why, with this knowledge and these gadgets," you may ask, "do I still feel like I can't get everything done I need to?"
The answer is simple. Everything you ever learned about managing time is a complete waste of time because it doesn't work.
Before you can even begin to manage time, you must learn what time is.
A dictionary defines time as "the point or period at which things occur." Put simply, time is when stuff happens.
There are two types of time: clock time and real time. In clock time, there are 60 seconds in a minute, 60 minutes in an hour, 24 hours in a day and 365 days in a year. All time passes equally. When someone turns 50, they are exactly 50 years old, no more or less.
In real time, all time is relative. Time flies or drags depending on what you're doing. Two hours at the department of motor vehicles can feel like 12 years. And yet our 12-year-old children seem to have grown up in only two hours.
The reason time management gadgets and systems don't work is that these systems are designed to manage clock time. Clock time is irrelevant. You don't live in or even have access to clock time. You live in real time, a world in which all time flies when you are having fun or drags when you are doing your taxes.
The good news is that real time is mental. It exists between your ears. You create it. Anything you create, you can manage. It's time to remove any self-sabotage or self-limitation you have around "not having enough time," or today not being "the right time" to start a business or manage your current business properly.
There are only three ways to spend time:
Regardless of the type of business you own, your work will be composed of those three items.
As an entrepreneur, you may be frequently interrupted or pulled in different directions. While you cannot eliminate interruptions, you do get a say on how much time you will spend on them and how much time you will spend on the thoughts, conversations and actions that will lead you to success.
8 Practices of Time Management That Will Work For Your Firm
Carry a schedule and record all your thoughts, conversations and activities for a week. This will help you understand how much you can get done during the course of a day and where your precious moments are going. You'll see how much time is actually spent producing results and how much time is wasted on unproductive thoughts, conversations and actions.
Any activity or conversation that's important to your success should have a time assigned to it. To-do lists get longer and longer to the point where they're unworkable. Appointment books work. Schedule appointments with yourself and create time blocks for high-priority thoughts, conversations, and actions. Schedule when they will begin and end. Have the discipline to keep these appointments.
Plan at least 50% of your activities to be productive
Plan to spend at least 50 percent of your time engaged in the thoughts, activities and conversations that produce most of your results.
Schedule time for interruptions
Schedule time for interruptions. Plan time to be pulled away from what you're doing. Take, for instance, the concept of having "office hours." Isn't "office hours" another way of saying "planned interruptions?"
Plan your day during first 30 minutes in office
Take the first 30 minutes of every day to plan your day. Don't start your day until you complete your time plan. The most important time of your day is the time you schedule to schedule time.
Decide what results you expect of every incoming chat or phonecall
Try to write down possible result you want to achieve when starting a phonecall or chat.
Having a clear goal will help you stay on the track during the chat and you won’t get distracted so easily.
Tell your coworkes that you don’t want to be disturbed
Inform your coworkers that on certain days you don’t want to be disturbed. Allow them to contact only on urgent cases.
Don’t try to have everything done at once
Studies show that people can’t perform few tasks in the same time. What they really do is called rapid task switching which has really negative impact on your productivity.
Create a list of tasks and stick to it. Try to perform one task at a time for better focus.