By Stan Robinson, Jr.
What we commonly call Time Management may more accurately be called “activity management” as we cannot really manage our time, only our activities. Needless to say, time will pass regardless of how we use it. It is the ultimate non-renewable resource and it is our responsibility to make sure we are as productive as possible within the time constraints that we face. Most people, unfortunately, complain about having no time but act as if they had 1,000 years to live.
One of the most illuminating exercises you can do is to keep a written record of how you use your time over the course of a week. Simply write down what you are doing as the day progresses in half hour increments. The key in order for this to work properly is to make these notes every half hour, to an hour at most. You will want to allow room for flexibility; if you are in a single two hour meeting, there is no need to make notes every 30 minutes. If you have the discipline to follow through with this process, it will be very clear why you are at your present level of productivity—for better or worse. With a record of your activities in hand, it is easier to make realistic adjustments in your planning and schedule in order to achieve your objectives.
Normally we tend to underestimate the amount of time required to complete activities and overestimate the number of tasks we can accomplish in a given period of time. Simple plans usually tend to work best and a simple plan for managing your use of time is to prioritize what needs to be done in order of importance. Much has been written about the tyranny of the urgent—how often important tasks are pushed aside by less important things that appear to be more time sensitive. In business, the most important activities are those that directly grow your business—sales, marketing and customer service. Sales generates revenues, marketing feeds the sales funnel and customer service helps retain customers, as repeat sales are more profitable than new sales.
Carefully reviewing how you use your time and making adjustments based on what you find can give you a tremendous boost in both productivity and personal satisfaction.
Best-selling business author Stan Robinson, Jr. helps businesses and professionals reach decision makers, build productive relationships and increase their profitability through social media and digital marketing. He has a B.A. in Psychology from Harvard University and an M.A. in Public Affairs from Princeton University. He is a Marketing Consultant and Copywriter with SHR Marketing. Reach Stan by phone at 908-463-3485 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Stan Robinson, Jr.