Time Management - Getting the Most Out of Each Day

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Most people fill their days from morning to night. A common thing to hear is "there's just not enough time in the day." Well, there is always enough time. You can always find the time if the task is important enough to you.

Learn how to identify where you are squandering your time, and learn how to improve your productivity. Here are some ideas from the experts:

Get Rid of Your Junk.
Stuff junk, time junk and people junk really takes a lot of our time and provides very little in return.

"Stuff junk" includes all of those things around the house that you have to clean, fix and update. Take a look around your kitchen, closet and bathroom and see what really does not get used and donate it to charity, have a garage sale, or offer it on Ebay.

"Time junk" includes distractions (TV, radio, Internet surfing) and things like correctable health problems and information overload. Time wasted watching TV is one of the biggest distractions to productivity in the United States, but waiting at doctor's offices and trying to process too much news / trivia / information can also sap your energy and leave your day with little accomplished.

"People junk" includes the time spent gossiping and distracting ourselves with conversation that is meant to help us procrastinate.
Get it Done Early.
Reduce stress and improve other's perception of you and your business by getting things done early. Reduce your daily commute by going to work an hour earlier and leaving to come home an hour earlier and miss some of the traffic.

Respond to customer requests for information as soon as you receive them (I often try to take care of them while the customer is on the phone by using the web to get the answers they need.) If the average American spends five years of life waiting for things – what can you do to make those five years more productive or fewer?

Use a laptop or a smart phone so you can be making notes or working while waiting in line or for the doctor. I like to take along some of the business magazines I receive and flip through the articles while waiting.
Reduce Your Meetings (unless they are with your spouse or kids).
It's overkill to have daily meetings, so meet once at the beginning of the week to touch base with your team members. Keep meetings focused with an agenda and stick to the time allotted for the meeting. If certain projects require a longer discussion, wait until after the meeting to talk one-on-one with the employees.
If you find that meetings are a waste of time, then they are not being conducted correctly. (Read "Meetings a Waste of Time? 6 Smart Ways to Fix Them.")

Meetings with spouses and children, however, should be worked into your schedule often. Sit with your kids on the floor and play with them while talking about what is going on in their lives. Meet your husband for an ice cream cone and talk about life like you did when you were dating. These are the meetings worth having.


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