Time is defined as a one-dimensional quantity used to sequence events, to quantify the duration of events and the intervals between them, and to quantify and measure the motions of objects and other changes. Whatever we choose to do each day, we have no control over time. Since the beginning, time has always been consistent. We might measure time in our own ways with a clock or by the sun, but how do we utilize and maximize the time that we’re provided each day? What exactly is time management and how do you manage the unmanageable? Well, it begins with managing yourself.
I have always pushed the importance of “self-management” in business and how vital it is for any level of success. I have found that the ability to consistently manage and organize workflow with the limited time provided each day is not an easy task for anyone. Maximum productivity is a challenge that requires ongoing effort and the ability to adapt to change and workflow demands. Productivity at work is important simply because it’s the definition of getting anything done. Wasting time at work is not fair to your clients or your family.
If time is spent on activities which are not productive, than it’s important to determine what they are. I believe our current climate for technology provides tools which can help increase productivity, but many which can also prohibit productivity if you allow. If you are able to maximize the time you have each day, you will have a better quality of life with less stress and much more success in business. Here are a few tips to help self-manage:
►Follow a schedule and have a plan. Have a plan each and every day. Create tasks or a “to do” list each day with the most vital tasks highlighted. Check off tasks completed and move on to the next until you complete all tasks. Try to automate reminder alerts for those tasks that are consistent and especially for appointments and meetings. Time-block accordingly to get the most important tasks done first and those which have deadlines.
►Automate and prioritize marketing. If you are in a sales- or commission-based position than it’s important to have time to market and prospect every day. Automate any marketing possible, but spend quality time and focus with your clients and business partners.
►Delegate. This is one of the most challenging things for me, but also one of the most important I know I must follow. Trust in others and train well. Delegate tasks and get things off of your workload which do not require your full attention.
►Don’t put things off. We all have tasks we don’t enjoy, but need to get done. A delay of an hour turns into a day, into a week, etc. If you cannot delegate tasks, than just get it done to avoid that nagging reminder in the back of your brain.
►Get out of the office. It’s important to break up your day and get fresh air or take a break. Especially if you feel stressed at work, take a few minutes to get out and enjoy a break. As difficult as it is to get away, just do it. A short time away during the day will help you be more productive while at the office.
►Exercise and eat right. I’ve always preached the importance about how exercise can help you manage time better even if it takes time to exercise. Feeling good and getting better sleep results in a refreshing day. Your brain and body rely on fuel. If you don’t eat breakfast or skip meals, then don’t be surprised by a lack of energy and focus.
►Facebook. If you are at work, get off Facebook. Other than a few business-related Fan Page updates here and there, if you are at work, then get off Facebook. I’ll just leave it at that.
►Set goals. Setting and hitting both short- and long-term goals is important. Make sure they are realistic, and each time you meet your goals, it will motivate more productive activity.
Try to determine what you need to change in order to maximize the time allotted each day and your personal productivity. Always remember that you cannot manage time, only yourself.
Andy W. Harris, CRMS is president and owner of Lake Oswego, Ore.-based Vantage Mortgage Group Inc. and 2010-2011 president of the Oregon Association of Mortgage Professionals. He may be reached by phone at (877) 496-0431 or e-mail [email protected]
or visit AndyHarrisMortgage.com.