Time Management … More Difficult Than It Seems

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clock turn backHow many books have been written about time management? You’d think that by now just about everything that could be said, has been said, however, it continues to be a relevant topic.

At first glance, you might be inclined to ask: “how hard can this be”. All you have to do is buy some sort of organizer or today you can use your cell phone to manage your time. Just plan ahead and follow the plan. It really does seem simple enough. So, why do we struggle with the management and best use of our time? There are many reasons why time ends up controlling us.

The best you can do is work to control your use of time and make sure your use produces desired results. When you examine the available time each day, you realize you really only have 16 hours to get anything done…those other 8 hours are spent sleeping. Now you’re down to 16 hours before you’ve done anything except rest. Then you have to consider some other factors.

Everyone needs a certain amount of time each day for themselves. This time can be as simple as getting ready for work, watching a favorite TV show, reading or getting a haircut. Then you have to devote a certain amount of time to family. Finally, you have to allocate time for work. Most full-time jobs require at least 9 hours for work plus travel time.

Now, you’re left with about 6 hours to share between personal and family time. Having too little personal and family time can create stress and have a negative impact on you and your family as well as your professional productivity and/or earnings. 

So, how can you achieve the necessary balance between personal, family and work demands on your time? First, you need to have clearly defined short-term and long-term objectives that are in writing. You have to decide on what is most important and what can be postponed (don’t do this one too often) if necessary. Each day, there are things you must do and things you want to do. Once you have specific objectives, you can move toward success by completing tasks each day. You have to be willing to eat the elephant one bite at a time.

Your next challenge involves avoiding the many time thieves you encounter each day. A variety of situations will attempt to distract you and pull you away from your tasks. Your planning has to keep you on task and get you closer to achieving objectives. Keeping a simple journal each day will help you stay focused, allow you to measure results and make changes to improve. 

Always start your days by answering the question: “What do I expect today?” and end each day by answering: “What happened today?” and “What did I learn today?” Manage your time effectively and maintain the necessary balance between personal, family and work lives. You’ll be happier and make more money.

How do you manage your time? Any tools or advice you can offer?

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7 Responses to “Time Management … More Difficult Than It Seems”

  1. Dennis Doll Says:

    Thanks Dan! There is no “time” like today to start managing your time!

    One thing I do is to limit my social networking to less than 30 minutes a day. That includes reading blogs, twitter, facebook, personal email etc. Those things are important but can be real time wasters if not brought under control.
    Another idea is to sort and file your business email daily, build outlook folders for all listings, buyers etc and file those emails in it. This makes it very easy to retrieve when needed without spending time looking for the needle in the haystack.

  2. Sharon Cunningham Says:

    Dan,

    I’ve learned to manage my time more effectively by not touching the same thing more than two times, deal with it or remove it.

    This was a lesson taught by Tony Robbins in the mid 80’s, take the challenge!

  3. Sandra Rodrick Says:

    Good article, Dan and gives a lot to ponder. A quick mamagement tool for me would be to “Just Say No” right up front but whether it’s a Freudian slip or a speech impediment, I’m not very good at it and the next thing i know – some times I’m not even using those 8 hours for sleeping! With a big volunteer project going this weekend, I hope I’ve learned that, “Not at this time” [sounds more polite than “NO”] is a viable answer. I’ve also learred the hard way that as you mention, we all need some down time to be effective for the rest of the time we have left in a day. With all you’ve said, have a balanced Labor Day weekend.

  4. pviohl Says:

    Dennis: I have a question….. when you say you create folders in Outlook for your clients and file emails in these, what about storage space? I was under the impression that we have limited space within the Metrobrokers email site and without careful management, we can easily go “over” our mailbox limit. For this reason, I end up printing hard copies for my files so that I can keep the number of emails in my account under control. If we create the folders you are talking about, are they stored on a server, and therefore not contributing to a mailbox which is too full? Or are you using an email account not set up through Metro, which has unlimited storage? It may seem like a silly question, but I could use some suggestions on this point.

    • Eddie Krebs Says:

      No! Don’t print your emails! 🙂

      We have all sorts of solutions for helping you manage your mailbox. The Help Desk has already been in touch with Pat, but if you are a Metro Brokers agent and are also having trouble managing your mailbox, give us a ring. We will be happy to walk you through your options!

      I personally archive all my old messages and keep items unread in my Inbox until I can follow up. This will require Outlook on your desktop or laptop, but it’s very easy to set up. We even have a training video on MetroNet that can walk you through it.

  5. Arthur Harris Says:

    Dan,

    Great article. Time lost is never regained. Social sites such as Facebook,Twitter etc can steal your time so limit your use to one hour a day. List daily task in order of importance and handle important task first. I am still trying to practice what I preach but it is so easy to fall into the trap. Block out specific time and stick to your guns and remember to prospect at least two hours everday.

  6. Cindy West Says:

    Thanks for the great tips! It’s so easy to get caught up in social sites, having a plan is the easy part, sticking to it is what’s difficult. Discipline and Balance are the keys!

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