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Gain 5 Hours of Time

by James A. DeSena, CSP

If you could just get just 10% better at managing your time, what would you do with the 
extra 5 hours each week? Would you put that time into new projects? Would you spend 
it with your family? Would you take more time for yourself? Whichever way you would use 
that extra time, imagine what it would be like because starting right now, it can be yours.

"There just doesn't seem to be enough time in the day!" How many times have you heard someone say those words? How many times have you thought at the end of a tiring day, 
"If I could only finish what I wanted to do today." If either of those statements are familiar refrains to you, you know the demands that are being placed on us today for our time and 
that in many cases, we willingly accept. The secret to successful time management is to manage time, not let it manage us.

We can choose to be victims when it comes to time management or we can make different choices. When we choose to manage proactively, we put our priorities in order.

What are the signs that you are suffering from poor time management? Some of the most frequent are missed deadlines, going from one crisis to the next, stress, disorganization 
and interruptions. Do you recognize any of these symptoms? If so,

Take the first step. Admit that you could improve the way you plan and carry out your 
plans. You can not change what you do until you admit that there is a better way, and in 
reality, an opportunity to better use your time.

Second, know that you don't have to have all the answers. You don't have to reinvent 
the wheel. Find those people who do well what you don't do well and learn from them. You might learn from a book, from attending a seminar or from a colleague. You probably have 
some areas of time management that you do extremely well. Build on those strengths. Find your blind spots and correct them.

Third, start by changing just one habit you do have that doesn't help you. Instead, choose to do something that makes better use of your time and that makes you more productive. Three possibilities are:

  • Plan your priorities for the day. Decide the day before what your most important
    tasks are for the following day. Put them in priority order, with one being most
    important, two being next most important and so on.

  • Don't procrastinate. Putting off an important task doesn't make it go away. Doing
    it does. Just begin and then bask in the feeling of relief.

  • Get organized. Start with the top of your desk. If it has papers and piles on it,
    clear it off and keep it clear so nothing there will distract you.

ŠJames A. DeSena, CSP, Performance Achievement Systems, Inc. Looking for an engaging and energetic speaker for a meeting or event you have scheduled? For free information or to find out how Jim can customize a program for your meeting as he's done with over 100 other clients, call us at 800-4321-WIN. www.salesleaders.com    
                                                         ExpertMagazine.com 2001

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