It happens to the best of us. We have good intentions but somewhere along the way we go astray. We turn on our computers, fire up our favorite browser, tell ourselves that we will *only* be checking out ______________ (insert your fave time-suck site) for five minutes and next thing you know the five minutes turn into 30.
And then you feel guilty because you know better but can’t seem to shake the habit.
Same thing goes for checking email. How many of you see the little Outlook envelope pop-up at the corner of your desktop and immediately decide to just read the email (and start twitching if you don’t)? However, instead of just reading you now find yourself in the midst of a discussion totally unrelated to the work you were just doing and your unfinished work still waiting for you.
Time management. How do we manage something that we can’t stop, control or get more of?
I’m no time-management expert but want to learn and figured some of you do as well. I took a tour of the web and pulled out some time-management nuggets that I will share with you.
5 Time Management Tips From Around the Web
Tim-Ferriss, the king of lifestyle design (and whom I secretly idolize), in his book ‘The Four Hour Work Week’, suggests only checking email TWICE per day at set times. You read that correctly. Two times at set-times. He goes even further to suggest setting an auto-responder letting people know when you will be checking emails and if it is time-sensitive to give you a call (on the phone.. remember those days!). You may not be comfortable setting up the auto-responder (just yet) but give shutting down your Gmail/Outlook a whirl and see how it goes (and how much more work actually gets done). Let me know if you get the shakes 😉
Natalie Sisson, The Suitcase Entrepreneur, writes about ‘three time thieves’ in her post ‘How to Catch the Time Thief and Get More Done’ and suggests looking at your to-do list to identify if you are setting unrealistic expectations for your day. Take a hard look at your daily to-do list, identify what needs to be done in terms of priority *and* see if there are items that you can potentially outsource/delegate.
Chris Brogan, who is full of awesome, suggests the 20-minute plan in which you build a list of what you want to do and then grab a timer, turn-off any distractions (yes, that means Twitter, Facebook, etc) and work on tasks in 20 minute intervals. Sure, you can’t run your entire day like this but it is definitely something you can inject at different intervals throughout the day. I tried it and it’s amazing what you can get done in twenty minutes when you focus on one single task.
Libby Fisher, over at BizChickBlogs identified ‘4 Tools to Help Prioritize Time.‘ I haven’t tried any of these tools (yet) but thought I’d include them. I’ll be honest, despite being a tech-geek, I’m still a paper-pen person when it comes to-do lists. Sure, I use my Google Calendar to schedule meetings and appointments but for some reason I can’t yet get digital when it comes to my to-do list. What about you?
Ali Hale over at Dumb Little Man stresses the importance of getting enough sleep. Sacrificing sleep won’t make you more productive and in the long-run could potentially lead to illness.
And there you have it, time-management tips that should help you get more out of your day, provided you make the time to put them into place 😉
Which ones will you try? Do you have any that work for you? I’d love to hear them- let me know in the comments below.