Time Management Tips for Busy People

If you look at the life of someone just 50 years ago, you would think they had it easy. Just wake up in the morning, go to work, come home, eat dinner, spend time with family, go to bed and get up to do it all again. Simple, right?

Fast forward to 2009 and it isn’t like that at all. We take the word ‘busy’ to a whole new dimension. Everyone you talk to is busy, running on fumes and stressed out.

There are a lot of skills in business that are, in my opinion, common sense. Time management is not one of them. I think entrepreneurs have it even tougher because we are only accountable to ourselves.

I’ve been self-employed for over ten years. About five years ago, I remember feeling helpless and “at the end of my rope.” I had so much to do that I wasn’t sleeping at night, I was always sick and weak, and I felt like a failure when I couldn’t complete everything.

Then, I made this list below. I’ve had this hand-written list taped to the wall of my office ever since that time, and it has really changed my life.

Time management will always be tricky for me because I’m easily distracted, but with this daily reminder staring me in the face, I know I can properly prioritize and finish the most important tasks every day.

For those of you that have also struggled with this, I hope this list helps you as much as it has helped me!

When you take control of your time, you take control of your life!
Start your day with a plan of action (make your to-do list the night before)
Maintain balance in your life
Get enough sleep
Be flexible
Don’t be a perfectionist (this one is tough for me!)
Reward yourself
Don’t waste waiting time (use this time wisely)
If you can’t sleep, don’t waste time lying in bed, get up and do something (learned from Dr. Wayne Dyer)
Plan more
Don’t waste time regretting your failures, just look ahead and be excited about the future.
Trust your instincts and believe in yourself.
Before you start a task, ask yourself WHY are you doing it, if your answer is not convincing, do something else!
Allow yourself to relax and do nothing for BRIEF periods, and don’t feel guilty about it.
PRIORITIZE your to-do-list
Focus on one day at a time
Handle each piece of paper only once – delegate it or dump it. (this is huge!)
Live for the moment – DO IT NOW!
Itemize, categorize, prioritize, crystallize… but just do it. Take action!
Never miss a chance to admire beautiful clouds or a rainbow.

Most Common Time Wasters:
Planning (lack of)
Priorities (lack of)
Telephone Interruptions
Disorganized/Cluttered Desk
Lack of Self Discipline
Ineffective Delegation
Crisis Management
Inability to say NO