Good time management is something we all strive to achieve. Unfortunately, today’s busy professionals find themselves juggling a full plate. Between running a business, raising a family, and maintaining a sense of order in their personal lives, many find themselves with little time left in the day.
As an entrepreneur, you know this feeling all too well. An overflowing event calendar can stress you out and cause you to forget the things that are important to you — like why you started a business in the first place. Here are some tips that will help you gain more control over your day and prevent you from exhausting yourself before you have your first cup of coffee.
1) Create a to-do list and cross each item off as you complete it – There is no better feeling than tackling a time-consuming task and crossing it off the list. List all of the things you need to do in one day and cross each item off as you complete it. If paper’s not your bag, check out Remember the Milk. It’s free and can be accessed from your phone and used with Google Calendar.
2) Brown bag it – Pack your lunch the night before and you’ll save yourself the time it takes to order and carry-out a meal from a restaurant or delicatessen. Laptop Lunches has reinvented the bento box and made it appropriate for all ages.
3) Use your lunch hour to get some fresh air - A brisk afternoon walk around the block may be all that you need to clear your head and give you the boost of energy you need to get through the rest of the day. This low impact activity can also help lower your blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
4) Avoid unnecessary trips to the post office – Consolidate postal trips by using the Internet. You can buy stamps and calculate postage online through the USPS’s website or other web services, and you can order free boxes and schedule a pickup in a matter of minutes by filling out a short form.
5) Stop junk mail before it becomes a nuisance - The average individual receives 41 pounds of junk mail each year. Sorting through these unwanted catalogs and advertisements can take up a big chunk of your day. Non-profit services like 41pounds.org can handle this job for you, and, best of all, a third of the fee it charges is donated to groups like Born Free USA and StopGlobalWarming.org.
6) Limit the small talk - Gathering around the water cooler for your daily dose of gossip is a great waste of time. So are unannounced interruptions. When a coworker or employee comes by your office to shoot the breeze, limit your conversations to five minutes or less.
7) Outsource your inbox - Tim Ferriss, author of The Four-Hour Work Week, suggests taking a break from checking your email. He set up multiple email accounts for different purposes and hired a virtual assistant to reply to any questions that needed immediate attention or an easy answer (like a request for product literature).