The Rolling Stones sang **Tiiiiiiime is on my side, yes it is**. Well, no, it's not - not unless you take charge of it, make the most of it, manage it. Otherwise, you'll be singing **Ain't it funny how time slips away?**.
You don't have to live by the clock, that's a real drag. Be like a coach in a game that's tied with two minutes left: manage the clock, do the right thing at the right time. Here are some ideas to help you win.
>> Plan your time. Starting the day with no plan is like packing your suitcase without knowing where you're going...some of these, a few of those...pointless and inefficient, a waste of your time.
At the very end or very beginning of each day, take fifteen minutes or so to consider and write down the things you must or want to do during the coming day. Key words: write down.
>> Prioritize your tasks. Schedule the most important things at the appropriate times, then the second level chores, and so on. If you equate getting the dog's new flea collar with answering your client's email, you may have a happy dog and a former client.
>> Know Thyself. Are you a morning person? Afternoon? Evening? When are you at your best? To the extent possible, plan your most demanding tasks for that time, you'll get better results.
Which chores are time-sensitive? Going to make a presentation at 3pm, when you're in peak form, won't help much if the prospect expected you at 9am. Determine what works best for you and let it be a guiding factor. You'll be more effective and more efficient.
>> Schedule your family time, not just on Sundays or Tuesdays, but every day. If that idea rubs you the wrong way because you think you always have time for your family, maybe you ought to ask them how they feel about it. Your loved ones may be more forgiving of neglect than your business, but there are limits to everything. And businesses can be replaced. Kids grow up whether you're ready for it or not.
>> Beware the time bandits! Neighbors, friends or colleagues who drop in unexpectedly during work hours may just be bored or lonely. They're just looking for company and figure you'll be available. The same is true of people who call for no particular reason. It's your time; be tactful but firm.
If you're human, the worst time bandit in your life may well be - ta-da! - you (I know I am). Deviating too much from your to-do list, wandering the web instead of researching, going out to lunch and stopping by a favorite store for *just a minute* - yeah. Heard it all before. Ain't it funny how time slips away?
>> Schedule your *Me* time, or you may not get any. You must have Me time to do, or not do, things just for you to relax and recharge. Listen to some music, read for pleasure, watch the tube - stuff like that. Sometimes it's better than sleep to help you be more effective and happier. Don't argue, we all need it, so just do it. You'll thank me later. Love, Dad.
Copyright 2001 © Kent E. Butler
Kent E. Butler has worked at home since 1994. He edits the Home Based Journal, a free business ezine providing useful info on a wide range of relevant topics.
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