“Don’t squander time for that is the stuff life is life is made of” – Benjamin Franklin
Yes, time is important. We all have each day 24 hours at our disposal. Some of which we need to sleep, eat and care for ourselves in other ways. What do you do with the remaining hours? For some many hours are wasted beyond what would be needed for essential recreation.
However even at work there are times when we can waste an inordinate amount of time on non essential matters. I call these distractions Time Bandits and here are just some of them: email, non business phone calls, Twitter, Facebook, Ebay, text messages and more. With so many distractions there is always the temptation to be sidetracked from the task in hand.
You may well have your computer set to notify you when a new email arrives or a new tweet is for you. Do you immediately stop what you are doing to check it? Although this may only take a moment one thing is sure and that is that all those moments add up. The best way to avoid this is to switch off notifiers and have set times each day when you check your email or tweets. Email could be checked just 2 or 3 times a day depending how you use email. If you get orders by email you may choose to have more frequent checks.
Here are some other ways to save time. It is good to set up a task / to do list each day and make sure that you stick to that list except for real emergencies that require your attention. Use a diary to plan appointments and avoid excessive travel. Where possible delegate tasks to others so that you can free your time for the more important things.
If you work from home set up an area of your home as an office and avoid TV and other distractions. Have a separate business phone line and don’t give it out to your friends. Some friends seem to think that because you work from home you are available to talk to during working hours and if you are self employed that you can take time off whenever you wish. Oh – if only that were true! Make it clear that you are working and to ask them to call you outside working hours (politely of course!).
There are many time bandits that will steal our time and it does take self discipline and a good routine to avoid them. Please share your experiences on managing your time by commenting in the box below.
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