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Taking Control of Your Time - Part 1

As a business owner, you know how challenging it can be to maintain a balanced lifestyle while staying focused on the day to day operation of your business. If you don't have effective methods to help you maintain control of your time, it's very easy to let the demands on your time adversely affect your quality of life.

Think about how you began your day yesterday. Did you plan what you wanted to accomplish, or did the most urgent tasks of the day dictate your level of productivity? There are certainly times when urgent things come up and must be addressed right away, but if you can learn how maintain control of your time, and stay focused, most of those urgent situations can be mitigated or avoided altogether.

The tips listed below are the first of a three-part time management series designed to help you take control of your time, starting with identifying your priorities and becoming more aware of where your time goes during the day.

Tip #1 – Identify Your Priorities

Do you know what really matters to you? In this fast-paced world, you are most likely faced with numerous choices and obligations every day. When you identify your priorities, you become aware of what's most important to you so you can get clear on where you want to spend your time and energy. It then becomes easier to decide to drop or delegate certain activities, or incorporate those things that contribute to improving your quality of life.

Tip #2 – Keep Track of Your Time

After you get clear about what's important to you, you can begin to take control of your time by noticing the activities that aren't in alignment with your priorities, and therefore, aren't adding value to your day. Try keeping a daily time log for a period of 1 week, tracking your activities in 15 minute increments. Most people are surprised to discover how much time is spent on things that don’t really matter. After completing this exercise, you'll be able to spot activities that don't hold value for you and be made aware of the specific areas where you may be wasting time as well.

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About the Author

Susan Tollefson, Inside Out Business Systems
Novato, CA 94949

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