Your Precious Time

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As professionals one of the most precious assets we spend is our time, yet few of us are formally trained to be good stewards of our time.

I regularly teach a class at RightNow on time management to all employees interested in taking it. I have done this for years. Why do I spend my time on such a task when it could be easily delegated to our training department? That’s easy; by teaching the class personally, I get much higher attendance and if I can make each of our 1,000+ employees 10% more productive (a pretty low bar), we just picked up the equivalent of 100 more staff. Plus when you manage your time well you get more done and are more satisfied in your work which leads to positive employee morale and higher achievement.

Here are the top tips from my class:

  • Rule #1: Write everything in one place.
  • Rule #2: You can only work on one thing at a time (so it better be the most important thing).
  • Rule #3: Set monthly goals for yourself and identify the tasks necessary to achieve them. Put these items on your daily “to do” lists at the beginning of the month for each monthly goal.
  • Rule #4: Prioritize your work once a day and schedule your activities. Then stick to your plan.
  • Rule #5: Work from a clean desk.
  • Rule #6: Write items you need to do down as soon as they come into your mind to avoid mind clutter. Also, only touch a piece of paper or email once; either DECIDE, DELEGATE or DISCARD.
  • Rule #7: Be sure when writing down items on a “to do” list that they are digestible pieces (i.e. can be completed in under three hours), If not break them into multiple pieces.
  • Rule #8: Make decisions concerning what you work on throughout the day as interruptions come up.
  • Rule #9: Remove all possible distractions (i.e. face away from people walking by, people dropping by to talk at other than lunch or break time, etc.).
  • Rule #10: Only write specific time commitments on your calendar and only write ‘to do” items on your “to do” lists. Use other spots to record conversations and notes concerning projects.

Time is the primary asset we have as professionals. Use yours wisely.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Greg Gianforte
RightNow Technologies
A serial entrepreneur, Greg founded RightNow in 1997 and took the company public in 2004 with one of that year's most successful initial public offerings. Greg has grown RightNow to more than 700 employees worldwide and more than $1 million in revenue.

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