10 Ways to Manage Your Time (including some tools to help you along the way)…

“Time is the coin of your life.  It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent.  Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you.”  ~Carl Sandburg

Ways to Manage your timeImage Source: Marc via Compfight

We’re so busy trying to live our lives, run our businesses and keep up with everything that is thrown at us that we become ineffective and overly stressed.  We sometime forget that our time is valuable and it has a price tag. By managing our time better and more effectively, we are more productive, less stressed and happier.  Here are some ways to manage your time in your everyday life and business.

1. Write it down- To do list. Whenever we put something down on paper, not only does it help us remember but it also makes us more accountable for our actions. Write down everything you need to do by order of priority and also include deadlines.

Tools:
Remember the Milk
Ta-da list
Jott

2. Outsource and get support. When you have tasks that you simply hate to do, they tend to stare at you in the face and drag on forever. Also, if you’re not really knowledgeable about certain tasks, why not leave it to someone who is. Chances are, they can accomplish the job much faster and better than you could, leaving you to concentrate on what you do best and saving you money in the long run.

3. Plan ahead and schedule. To know ahead of time what you have to do is not only going to relieve stress but also avoid unnecessary mix up and scrambling to finish projects.

Tools:
Google Calendar

4. Do high pay off tasks first. Typically, you have more energy in the morning and you’ll feel much more productive if you get the important stuff done first. Putting all the important money making activities behind you first will make you feel much more positive about finishing the rest of your day.

5. Limit your time on Social networks. I’m a strong believer in using social media for your business but it can be a real time sucker! If you plan your time on social networks such as 30 minutes in the morning and 30 minutes at the end of the day, you’ll be much more in control of your time. Using tools that will allow you to manage and post to several social networks at the same place will prevent you from having to switch from one site to another.

Tools:
Hootsuite

6. Plan for the unforeseen. One thing that can derail us from our schedule is the unexpected tasks that come at us during the day. The phone calls, the crisis, they needy clients or a sick child. It is important that you think about it and be realistic when planning your day. Include some time in your day for the unplanned activities.

7. Set some goals in writing. If you know where you’re going in your life and career, it is easier to concentrate your efforts and will motivate you to achieve more at a faster rate. You need to be very specific in your goal setting and make it measurable in order to determine your success. Make your goals challenging but keep them realistic so that you don’t get overwhelmed and give up mid-way.

Check out this article: 10 Goal Setting and Tracking Tools to Keep You Motivated

8. Use a Client Contact Relationship Management system (CRM). I’m always amazed to see how many people keep their client lists on Excel spread sheets. Using a CRM system will keep you organized, strengthen your client relationships and actually allow you to better focus your marketing projects which in turn will probably payoff financially.

Tools:
Highrise
Zoho CRM
Salesforce

9. Get organized. Having the right tools at the right place is crucial when you’re busy trying to run a business. Having an organized and clutter free workplace will also free your mind and keep you focused.

10. Get your sleep. When you’re tired you can’t focus properly and you tend to work at a slower pace.  Having undisturbed and adequate sleep will leave you energized and ready to take on your day.

Genevieve Lachance is a web marketing consultant who has a passion for social media and technology based in Montreal, Canada. Read More About Me »