Written on the 8 February 2014 by Australian Business Sales
However carefully you prioritise the use of your time, your attempts to manage it efficiently will be undermined unless you can find effective ways of dealing with distractions:
•Manage mail at the beginning of the day. It may have a bearing on your activities during the rest of the day and you will be in a position to deal quickly with any subsequent queries.
•Limit the time spent on each call, and differentiate calls from VIPs, regular contacts and timewasters.
•Avoid unproductive and inefficient meetings. Agree on start and finish times in advance and establish an agenda.
•Use email as a less intrusive form of communication and pick up your messages when it suits you, rather than having to respond immediately.
Be careful not to cut yourself off completely, or you could stifle the flow of ideas and creativity from your colleagues and contacts.
Monitoring your own use of time is an effective way of improving your time management. This involves logging your activities in some detail over a given period, for instance a week. You’ll have to do this anyway if you charge for your time.
Once you’ve worked out how you spend your time, analyse your activities, such as working out which activities contributed most towards achieving your goals and which can be classified as:
•urgent and important
•urgent but not important
•neither urgent nor important.
You may well find you’re spending 30% of your time on unnecessary activities. This analysis will help you decide what to delegate and what to abandon.