We all say we want more time. We all have the same 24 hours each day. No more – No less. Using time effectively is about creating balance and working more productively rather than just being busy. When you’re really productive, you will find it takes much less time to get things done and you can really enjoy the time you are granted. Experiment with a time make-over. The following tips will help you get started.

• Evaluate where your time goes. To get time in focus, you need to figure out where your daily 24 hours go. For a week, keep a time diary, keeping track of what you do each hour. At the end of the week, check your findings.

• Set an intention each day for what you want to achieve.

• What should you be investing your time in? Time is a gift. Decide what’s important to spend your time on. Look at your time diary again. Are you spending four hours a week watching television but only one hour with your family? Are you reading email every hour or so instead of focusing on getting things finished? What can you eliminate from your schedule or at least cut back on? What would that leave time for?

• Focus on where you are going. Most of us spend far too much time on the small tasks we need to complete. As a result, we lose sight of the big picture. If you spend your time focusing on errands and small tasks that you think need to get done today or this week, you may not be focusing on your actual goals.

• Do an honesty check with yourself to find out if you’re using these things as an excuse not to move forward! To get where you want to go you need to check doubt and fear at the door and focus on your goals.

• Learn the art of leverage. Many of the little things that clutter our schedules – making photocopies, running errands, picking up groceries – and cleaning house can often be taken care of by someone else. Find ways to delegate the little details and you will be able to make the most of every hour.

• Develop a good planner system. If you don’t write it down, you will forget it. Find a planner or planning system you like and stick with it. Write down appointments, upcoming birthdays and anything else you need to remember. With all that stuff now on your calendar and not in your head, you can take a deep breath and start prioritizing.

• If you celebrate birthdays, anniversaries etc. buy all the cards and/or gifts you need for the month at the beginning of each month. This really saves continual trips to the store for forgotten or last minute cards or gifts.

• If you have a home based business and mainly work alone, set yourself office hours of some kind and let people know. Working from a home office is no different than going to an office. Your time is valuable and important.

Once you start to use your time more productively, you will find you don’t get overwhelmed and you stay more focused. You will also feel more empowered and have greater feelings of accomplishment.

If you take control of your time, you’ll love this way of taking charge of your days and time will become your friend.

Author's Bio: 

Hazel Palache.MFC, CMCht, CNLP.
The Results Coach

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