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Stop Managing Time to Achieve Goals

Are you using your time efficiently? Do your actions support your goals and job requirements? Checking items off a to-do list is less important than performing tasks and activities that support you. Doing a lot is less productive than doing the right things. In order to get what you want, you need to produce results. You do this not by managing time, but by investing it to produce the highest return. By adopting the following strategies, you will save time, reduce stress, and create more of what you want. You cannot fail. You can only succeed and achieve more than you ever dreamed possible.

  • Each week, review your goals and link them to your activities for the week. This habit will keep you on target.

  • Ask yourself if each activity takes you closer to your goals. Prioritize those activities that contribute most to the achievement of your goals. Don't give away your time. Life gives no refunds.

  • Set deadlines for all critical activities and meet them. This will boost your self-esteem and establish your credibility.

  • Each day, plan your schedule for the next day to support your goals. Allow flexibility to handle "emergencies" by leaving room to respond to last-minute changes. If you schedule your day too rigidly, you will create unnecessary additional stress when things go wrong and you have to juggle your plans.

  • Schedule creative or challenging activities for your peak hours. For example, if you are a morning person, schedule a negotiation at 8 a.m. and time to return routine calls at 3 p.m.

  • Do less. Spend your time doing those things that only you can do. Use delegation to develop employees and help them grow so they can take on more responsibility. When you delegate, don't follow the person. Define parameters, guidelines, and expectations, then let the person handle the task as he/she sees fit.

  • Take charge of interruptions. If someone interrupts you, find out what they want, how long it will take to handle their need, and how urgent it is. If possible, schedule a time later to address the situation and ask the person to return then.

  • Plan phone calls. Make all outgoing phone calls at one time. Jot down what you hope to accomplish before making the call. If the person you are calling is out, leave a detailed message and provide a call-back window so he/she can reach you. Don't allow yourself to be put on hold; if you find yourself trapped on hold, put the call on "speaker" and work on something else while you wait, or hang up.

  • Set up paper flow to reduce the possibility of a log jam. Use computer technology to create a paperless environment. This is good for your productivity and for the environment. Hire an organizational consultant to help you manage the paper flow that remains. It's easier to set up a system to manage paper when it arrives on your desk than deal with a mountain of paper that has piled up. Are you investing your energy, effort, and time where you will achieve the greatest results?

    ~ By Patricia Haddock, Author and Speaker Special to Smart Business Supersite