It’s the end of the day and you’re feeling overwhelmed because you haven’t accomplished everything that you set out to do. Not to mention the fact that now there are more things to add to your “to do” list.
If you’ve ever had that experience then you know how frustrating it can be. Where did the time go?
Even though we all get the same 24 hours in a day, we might not be using that time as efficiently as we’d like. A friend of mine, who’s also an entrepreneur, says she’s only getting a couple of hours sleep a night because she’s trying to get everything done. It’s not unusual for her to go to bed at 5:00 am, only to have to get up again at 8:00 a.m. to start working again.
Though we can have good intentions when we start out, it’s so easy to get sidetracked with time wasters. If you find yourself wondering why you’re not getting things done, it’s time to change how you’re managing your time.
- Don’t answer every call as it comes in. Screen your calls and return the lower-priority calls at a later time.
- Close your email program. Reading and replying to emails all day long is a major time stealer. Choose two or three times during the day to check your mail.
- Keep a list of things to accomplish for the day and stick to it.
- Take time for breaks in order to keep your energy level up.
- Working for hours without clearing your mind will make you less productive.
- If you work from home establish boundaries. Don’t get stuck on the phone with friends or family who feel that if you’re at home you’re not working.
- If a potential client contacts you, arrange a time to meet. A consultation that you think will take 15 minutes could end up taking a large chunk of time out of your day.
- Create systems to handle repetitive, day-to day tasks.
If you plan out your day and create systems to stay on track, you’ll be able to accomplish more. At the end of the day you can look back on all the things you’ve completed and not be frustrated by what’s been left undone.
Deborah A. Bailey is the author of several non-fiction books, novels and a short story collection. She's the creator and host of Women Entrepreneurs Radio™ , a weekly podcast featured on iTunes and Podomatic. For more information visit http://DeborahABailey.com and http://www.BrightStreetBooks.com.