Manage Time Effectively, Boost Productivity

It’s a New Year – and a perfect time to strategize and set new goals for yourself and your business.

Start the year out with a positive mental attitude, an “I can do it” mindset. Categorize your priorities, put one foot in front of the other, and keep moving forward. With a few helpful hints, you can learn how to spend your time more efficiently.

“Time is the most valuable coin in your life. You and you alone will determine how that coin will be spent. Be careful that you do not let other people spend it for you.”
-Carl Sandburg

Clock Time Versus Real Time

Every wonder why time flies by so quickly sometimes…but drags by at other times?

In Entrepreneur, Joe Mathew, Don Debolt and Deb Percival explain this phenomena: clock time and real time.ID-1009700

Clock time is easy. 60 seconds in a minute, 24 hours in a day.

Real time, however, is relative, the authors note. “Time flies or drags depending on what you’re doing.” An appointment with the dentist can feel like it took 8 hours, yet your kids seem to grow up overnight.

Many time management programs are aimed at managing clock time, not real time – which is the world we’re in and where time seems too often to fly right on by. “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,” the authors share.

According to the authors, there are only 3 ways you spend time in your business: thoughts, conversations and actions. And it’s up to you to decide on how much time to spend on each of those, paving the way for success. The choice is yours, so try a couple of the tips below to become the master of your time…

Tips to Master Your Time

Tips to help you take back control of your time include:

  1. Monitor all thoughts, conversations and activities for a week to help you understand how you are spending your time.
  2. Take the first half hour of each day planning your day.
  3. Practice not answering the phone or answering emails. Disconnect. Block out what’s distracting you.
  4. Put up a “Do not disturb” sign when needed.
  5. Don’t be afraid to tell others that you need some “me time” – time set aside just for you, whether it’s to tackle a project or just relax.
  6. Understand that sometimes, interruptions do happen. Try not to beat yourself up over an unforeseen interruption or become angry at it (which would actually waste your time). Simply move on…

While the authors agree that interruptions cannot be eliminated, you can determine how much time you’ll allow for them – and that frees you up to move on to productive tasks.

Is It Urgent – or Is It Important?

As humans, we are so easily distracted. Observe people at a party: everyone is engaged in conversation, but the moment their cell phone sounds, they’re instantly distracted – and drift away from the person standing in front of them to text on a keypad.

Oliver Emberton writes that in life we experience events that are important – and things that are most urgent – in constant competition. “The secret to mastering your time is to systematically focus on importance and suppress urgency,” writes Emberton.

People automatically focus on what needs an instant response – like a cell phone – but oftentimes postpone tasks that are important to them, like gathering data for a business proposal or doing a daily workout. Emberton suggests treating your priorities like a flight you have to catch: set your priorities in ahead of time and don’t allow anything to stop you from making your flight!

How many times have you noticed yourself instantly checking your phone when it rings or immediately responding to an email? Prioritize!

Emberton offers up a handful of other tips to manage your time effectively so that you can be the boss of your time. By following a few simple strategies and being attentive to what is important or urgent in your life, you can achieve what you set out to do!


“The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot.”

-Michael Altshuler


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