EVER get the feeling that there are just not enough hours in the day? Time is our greatest resource and there are many ways in which to maximise your ability to manage this precious commodity.

But how can you avoid a To-Do list that never gets ticked off by the end of the work day? Or maximise the number of hours you work on critical projects, to achieve your career goals? And why is it important to take time out?

Time is Money

In the modern workplace and in most businesses, time is synonymous with money. Whether you bill by the hour, or bake by the truckload, time is essential in running a successful career and business. Just think of how important time is in the service industry, and how time influences purchasing decisions. Think of all the drive-through fast food chains in a city – all there to save time. Because time is indeed money, it is critical to prioritise your time effectively.

A new kind of Me-time

Self-Management impacts on your personal effectiveness and includes managing yourself and your time, being responsible for your achievements and being accountable for your results and success. In business, if you prioritise a company’s time more efficiently it can lead to improved customer service, improved delivery, increased profits, and increased market shares. Imagine what it could do for you if you made the mind shift to prioritise your time?

Time of your life

Start by removing thoughts of procrastination and imagine yourself as a “doer.” Think of the benefits of becoming a doer. What would our work life be like if we organised our tasks in order of importance, and not in order of enjoyment? What would it feel like to be thought of as someone who “got things done” and was “reliable?” How would we handle our paperwork? Imagine having an empty in-tray. And freeing up time for the people that matter in your life.

Ditch the time wasters

A Time Waster is anything that doesn’t contribute to your daily goals or your To-Do List. Many of these time wasters have become a natural part of our work style. Now is the time to change – to reverse the process. It will take time and effort to get rid of time-wasting habits. Research shows that it takes approximately 21 days to change a habit.

For example, at first, we will have to make a conscious effort to keep our meetings on track. If things are dragging on, we need to stand up and indicate that the meeting is over (if you are running it), or to be excused (if your input is no longer required). This applies to all the time-wasting habits we have acquired. It may be uncomfortable at first to tell a colleague that you are busy and unable to chat – but as you get used to being assertive and as they get accustomed to the fact that you are not always available – then it will become easier.

More tips to deal with time wasters:

• Fix a time for paperwork and admin;
• Have clear daily objectives;
• Delegate work as needed;
• Group your telephone calls;
• Be assertive with unannounced visitors.

-Betsy Ings