Unless you’ve got supernatural powers you cannot manipulate (manage) time. Time management is one of the great lies. If I could manage time, I could also manipulate the weather (and trust me, if that were the case, it would be a lot warmer).
Task management is a reality. You’ve heard me say this before, as entrepreneurs we are wonderfully creative and all too often, incredibly ADD (well, I certainly am). So lack of focus compounds the challenge. How do we overcome? We incorporate small changes that create big impact. Here are a few of my most effective task management strategies…
Manage your email. This is one of the best and worst things that ever happened to how we run our lives. Instant communication = awesome. Constant interruptions = extremely counterproductive. A few thoughts that work for me:
- learn to use rules to organize emails into folders before you even look at them
- turn off that ridiculous pop up notification (yes, I said ridiculous & that was my clean version)
- exit your outlook and only work on emails 2-3 times per day – seriously, what can’t wait a couple hours?
Schedule everything. I mean everything: appointments, call time, prep time, travel time, exercise, project work time, strategic thinking time and even down time. I call this down time, “my wiggle room that will probably get eaten up by some emergency or interruption” time. If not, I’ll just chill out and THINK (a powerful task management tool … ahhhh).
Sound like work? It’s really not, it creates a visual so you can prioritize while being realistic about how much you can get done in a day (those supernatural powers sure would be handy).
This can also start to create a visual of where you need to get some help, because … say it with me … you cannot do it all yourself!!
Embrace technology and embrace turning it off. Smart phones may be the greatest and worst thing that ever happened to us. Lately my greatest task management tool is to shut my phone off … or shut the email off on my phone.
For me, the most effective task management tool I utilize is to create quiet time. It’s when my greatest ideas surface.
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