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Improve Time Management with Two Favorite Tips

You can't get it back!

You can’t get it back!

Time management skills go hand in hand with business performance improvement.  But there’s so much advice on time management available that it’s easy to be overwhelmed, and not know where to start your personal improvement effort.  We’ve chosen two of the best tips to get started.

Do a time audit for one week and look at exactly where your time is going. Notice where you spend your time on a regular week day. Notice how you use time at a weekend.

You can actually get an awful lot done in half an hour. Don’t just float because you’ve only got half an hour until your next meeting or appointment (or lunch, or…).

You can find 28 other time management tips in Frances Booth’s post on Forbes.   But I keyed in on these two tips and I’ll explain why.

The time audit “tip” really isn’t a tip at all.  It’s a much-too-short encapsulation of one of Peter Drucker’s best chapters in his book “The Effective Executive”, which I reviewed in a previous post.   He recommends that knowledge workers audit their time regularly, say, once every three months.  Circumstances change.  Business focus changes.  We get sloppy.  A time audit exposes all those issues.  It’s not a band-aid, but a very powerful way of keeping you aware of your time.  (Personal note: the results of my time audits are invariably dismaying and embarrassing… but they’re so valuable that I keep doing them.)

I’m always surprised by how many little tasks our webified, networked, online 24/7 lifestyle engenders.  Here are some of my “favorites”:

  • updating account information for my (couple of dozen) accounts
  • checking my google alerts emails for good content
  • reviewing my Google Analytics results
  • paying some bills
  • …. and on and on and on

They take just a few minutes each to complete.  To avoid getting wrapped up in them, I do them before I’ve got some sort of hard-scheduled event; that forces me to focus on simple completion without all the second-guessing frills that turn the simple into the complex.  Just 30 minutes.  It works.

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5 Comments

  1. Carol Orris says:

    “Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is made of.” – Benjamin Franklin

    This article is an excellent reminder for me . So often I hear myself say, “I don’t have time.” In reality, time is like currency, and we need to spend it as wisely as we do out wages.

    I would appreciate more articles on becoming more organized and time management.

    • Chris Chadbourne says:

      Carol, you’re not alone. A friend volunteers in the Service Corps of Retired Executives. He tells me that time management is one of the top 5 challenges, right across the board. More articles on time management coming up.

      And thank you very much for the article suggestion!

  2. Time is of great essence to the business world,the writer captures the subject well and enlarge the scope of study by giving references. Great writing.

  3. So pretty much one must calculate his time habits to manage time. Like what i do each day at 4:00pm and Blah Blah right?
    Second one goes like this: Keep reminding yourself about something you need to do in the near future and with that in mind set a goal.
    Well, these are great tips. I have been using the second one for a long time but the first one i did not knew about. You have a brilliant way of writing.

  4. Pingback: GoodBusiness Monday Morning with Steve Jobs, Coffee and a Link - GoodBusiness

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