If we all have the same twenty-four hours each day, why then are some people able to accomplish so much more than others? That is the eternal question, and I believe each of us has the ability to answer it on our terms when it comes to time management and productivity.
When I set out to write a book on this topic (Time Management Strategies for Entrepreneurs), I took a hard look at my own life experience around these concepts of time management and productivity. After careful examination it seemed to me that I only became expert in these areas after coming online to start my business in 2006. Up until that time in my life I struggled with finding the time to do what I needed, being as productive as I wanted, and being able to honestly say that I had the time to do some of the things that would bring me joy in my life.
Perhaps the responsibility of becoming an entrepreneur later in life was part of the story in my case. After floundering for my first couple of months online, I created a strict schedule for myself and developed the discipline necessary to stay on task each day. This schedule called for working seven days a week, with two of the days – Wednesday and Sunday – being more like half days. Before I went to sleep each night I had already written out my tasks and goals for the next day on a mini legal pad I kept next to my computer. This was where I wrote out what needed to be done and who should do it as a “dynamic to-do list”. This enabled me to hit the ground running when I began each morning.
Will this strategy work for you? You won’t know until you try. I suggest that you first make a list of everything you need to do over the next several days. Then prioritize your list. Now look to see which items on your list can be better accomplished by someone else, at least this time. Then decide what actually doesn’t need to be done this week at all. The items you are left with are the ones that only you can do and must become your primary focus for the day until they are completed.
Over time you will learn how to keep this dynamic list rolling right along without as much effort. Experience and consistency with this system will turn you into something of an expert on time management and productivity. You will also be able to accomplish tasks more quickly if you are organized in this way. For example, it used to take me an hour and a half to write an article or a blog post. These days I can easily do this every single day in less than half of that amount of time. I’m also more skilled at delegating tasks and activities I simply do not need to be a part of, such as shopping for dog food or going to the post office. Learn to manage your time and work more efficiently and anything is possible in your life and business.