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Putting Some Muscle in your Time Management System

Aug 17, 2007
When I ask people what kind of time management system they use, and we talk about the effectiveness of it, I'm often amazed at what I see.

Frankly, many people use the worst system they can for their needs but simply use it because it was available to them at a price they could afford, or they liked the color of the cover, or the software came with their computer, or they spent so much on their PDA that they feel like they should be using the time management system on it.

I advise people to use a time management system that works for them. If your job is a big picture job with lots of planning and project management, you'll probably want a time management program that provides a week-at-a-glance or a month-at-a-glance so you can see deadlines and due dates. If you have a task-oriented or appointment-oriented business that needs you working on several things at specific times in the day, a day-at-a-glance is great.

Some businesses need to have more notes or a 24 hour clock on their time management system while others (the lucky ones!) only work 5 or 6 hours a day and simply need those times of the day to write notes. I know a lot of business owners who need a combination of all of the above systems.

But even once you have those systems in place, there are so many ways you can add some muscle to it so you can actually find it useful to you! Here are some ways I recommend putting your time management system on steroids!

* Use specific actions: don't schedule something general like "work on the Anderson account." Instead, schedule something very specific like "finish the proposal for the Anderson account and send it with a portfolio." You'll find greater satisfaction by completing specific tasks, and you'll get more done.

* Assign the amount of time you'd like to take on a project. If you look at a project and figure it will take you half an hour, write (.30) beside the time. Or, try to shave off some time by scheduling it for only twenty minutes. You will have created a little personal challenge for yourself to try and accomplish. It will help you focus!

* Record the time it took you. This is a great exercise to do because it will help you realize what takes up your time and how long it takes you to get work done.

* Prioritize your time.

* When you schedule a to-do, link URLs, contact info, notes, etc. into that specific time so that you're not fumbling for it... it's all right there for you.

* Set reminders so that you don't have to try and remember when something is due, but rather you are reminded with ample time to get it done.

* Use one system. I see too many people juggling 2 or 3 systems (one for business, one for personal, etc.). It's too much work! Put it all in one place.
About the Author
Jude Wright is the owner of 40 websites. She finds her i-Marketing Organizer invaluable in finding her Internet marketing information fast! i-MarketingOrganizer.com
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