Over the last year how much has poor time management and disorganization cost you — hundreds or thousands of dollars? Keep in mind that if you continue to do the same thing you have always done you will get the same results.

Good time mangers are rare, but that does not mean you cannot be good at managing your time. Here are a few habits for managing your time more effectively.

1. Use your transition time. Think of all the activities you can accomplish in five to 10 minutes. Use this list during the day to make use of the small pockets of waiting time or transition time.Also list all of the things you can do while traveling in a car or on an airplane. Stop seeing time in the form of hours. By focusing in on smaller increments of time, you are able to focus in on smaller tasks — the ones that usually slip through the cracks or build up into larger tasks. How much easier is it to take five minutes to do your filing every day than to let it pile up until you begin losing important documents?

2. Keep it clean and neat. Don’t waste time rummaging through the fallout of a cluttered life just to find a stapler.What is your impression of a person with a messy desk and work area? Does it create or diminish their personal credibility? Set aside a few minutes each day to organize your desk and work area.You’ll find it easier to get things done with fewer peripheral distractions.

3. Have your phone be a service — not an intrusion. The telephone can be an incredible time saver or a terrible time waster (sometimes both in the same day). To enable your phone to best serve you, set up a system of rules relating to your priorities.Answer and return calls following the system you set up. This works for the office as well as the home. If dinner is the primary time you and your family use to communicate, do not accept interruptions via the phone. The ringer has an off switch for a reason.

“In times like these, it helps to recall that there have always been times like these.”

– Paul Harvey

4. Systemize routine tasks. One of the biggest time wasters is stepping over the same territory time after time after time. Track your steps throughout a day and see how many tasks cause you to spend time traveling to and from a destination, then look for ways to improve the efficiency of such travels. This can be as simple as how many times you get up to fax items or as big as picking up the kids from school and dropping them off at practice. By simply coming up with a system for routine tasks you will dramatically change your effectiveness.

An ancient Chinese proverb says that the person who moved mountains was the one who began carrying away small stones. Avoid attempting to put all of these time tools into practice at once.

Choose one. Turn it into a habit. Watch your life begin to change for the better.

Best of success to you!


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