When it comes to time management in business, one of the biggest challenges you now face will be setting into action and committing to keeping a schedule.
Many times, self-employed small business owners want to be just that because they do not want to be constricted by a time clock. It almost goes against their nature.
On the other hand, successful entrepreneurs have stated time and time again that scheduling vastly improves the chances for success in any trade or profession.
This leads to the time-tested best advice ever, which is: “Put It in Writing.”
Your smartphone is the centre of your life in today’s world. So, come on and start to use it for more than just games and social media.
One of the best ways to start using it is to set up alarms and notifications that remind you of the jobs that need to be done today.
We don’t want to “guilt trip” you into successful time management… but it helps if you know that today’s tasks are done before you join into a Facebook conversation.
I think it is fair to say that many of us have a Gmail account already and if you don’t, then just sign up for one as this will put you in place with a super powerful Calendar system that will easily manage your time scheduling and task tracking.
They allow you to set up endless calendars for tracking all aspects of daily life. Your colour coding of events personalizes these features and in addition, everything sync’s with your smartphone ensuring that you do not miss any of those important meetings or events.
I remember when a friend of mine, who was super organized, sat me down and showed me the project management tool called Basecamp.
He was so excited because he knew this was something that I would use and appreciate. And of course, as usual, he was right. The beauty of it was that I could organize tasks I wanted others to complete by a certain date or simply assign the work over to myself, so I get the jobs done on time.
The system will remind you by email that the task is coming up to its due date.
Basecamp is just one of the many similar programs out there to choose from.
The beauty of Evernote is that it gives you the ability to track and capture your ideas, your images, and your thoughts in many ways.
Whether it a speech, an interview, perhaps a meeting, or simply your own thoughts, Evernote helps you record and document these.
Evernote even gives you the ability to share these and more with your business colleagues.
Adding to these features, Evernote prioritizes work tasks, lists, and your own creations ensuring that nothing is ever overlooked.
Now this sounds scary but, in fact, it is rather exciting.
I have always been a promoter of the concept of ‘Brainstorming”. However, more often than not it becomes a but unruly, that is until I discovered a tool called ‘Mind42’.
Mind42 takes the unruly and turns it into organization, enabling you to focus your thoughts, prepare things like to-do lists, brainstorming thoughts and organizing events.
If it is clarity or focus that you want daily, and if you want to get a lot more accomplished more quickly, then Mind42 may be the tool you are looking for.
Come on, admit it. Don’t be shy. That fact remains that many people young (well those who can print or write by hand) or old, simply like the old-fashioned notebook. You can still buy them, LOL.
I must admit that I have several notebooks and use them regularly, especially in prep work, after which I transpose them into my phone/computer. I am not an accomplished typist although I must say I am pretty good with the two-finger approach. I get the job done.
Set up a large whiteboard in your office, and every day, set out a timeline of things that need to be done and when you are going to do them.
Be bold and be brave, as you need courage to show your world that these are tasks you are committing to get done today.
This may sound like I am losing it here, but trust me I am not.
This really works. And it feels great when you take that eraser and wipe the tasks off the board once you have done them.
There are many other things you can do from using Time Tracking software to making a contract with yourself to stick at this and not let yourself down.
If all this time saving was an easy thing to do, we would never need tips like these that are designed to help you succeed at it.
Writing things down whether on paper, on your phone or computer really works. So, PLEASE DO IT!
This is the final in our October series on time managemnent. Other articles in this series include:
40 Business Time Management Hacks to Improve your Productivity
The Negative effects of Multi-tasking
Managing your Time Drains.
For more on the importance of personal leadership in business, click here.
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Ed Carey, AMG, LLC