…by Suzanne Falter-Barnes

Got time to read a quick essay about how to find more time? Desperately need more time but you\’re not sure where to find it? I personally could REALLY use more time these days – way too many tasks for hours in a day.

So that\’s when I turn to the trusted advice of others. I found these notes from a program I did a few years back with Rich Schefren. Other tips are ideas I\’ve added myself. I figured if I need to hear this, you might too, right?

1. Track your time. You will see where it goes, and then be able to clearly make choices based on what you observe. I like the Trax Time tool, which is a simple ‘punch in/punch out\’ time clock that sits on your computer\’s desktop. The paid version is a lot better than the free shareware trial. Because of this clarity, I hired someone to do stuff I was wasting time on and added about 3 hours to each day to get more done.

2. Don\’t multi-task. Put your entire attention into the task at hand, stay focused, and really get the job done. When you can calmly create a schedule that\’s not overloaded, you stay more focused and get more done.

3. Implement a system if you\’re really in overwhelm. I like David Allen\’s ‘Getting Things Done\’ program. His book by the same name is excellent – I\’ve used just about every aspect of it. And then I even added his software add-in to my Outlook Task Manager. That really helps me tick stuff off my list OR delegate and handle.

4. Using your time tracker, see how you spend your time and cut the fat. Rich says to take a look – “What am I doing that makes me most successful … or not doing but would make me more successful? What are biggest time wasters?” Delegate or make other changes to re-do your time usage. Follow the 80-20 rule and recognize that only 20% of your activity produces 80% of your results. So plan accordingly.

5. Once you identify what you need to add or drop, follow this rule: If you add something, you must delete something. Just like budgeting income.

6. Schedule it in. Give yourself a concrete amount of time for tasks. I\’ve given myself one hour, and that\’s it, to get this ezine written today. I know how my mind works, so I will come in just around 58 minutes. Try this, and be prepared to be surprised how easy it is to focus your time.

7. Create regular shots of down time every 90 -120 minutes. Your brain is craving a break by then, according to time management experts. Be sure to do something completely fun, and you\’ll come back to work ready to focus well. I play the piano or my guitar – it\’s energizing and it\’s fun! A great little break that totally changes my energy. What could be yours?

8. Don\’t overload your schedule. We all think we\’re Bionic and capable of charging through the world\’s longest to do list. Take a step back, smell the roses and re-assess. Do you really need to do it all? And can you just give yourself a reasonable amount of time to work … and then to play each day? Just this simple shift will give your brain enough slack to allow for more fun, more creativity, and more productivity.

Suzanne Falter-Barns\’ website at http://www.getknownnow.com/ offers tips and tools that help you build your platform and get known as an expert in your field. Sign up for her free ezine, Expert Status, and receive her free get started guide, “The Platform Jump Starter Kit.” And get regular, easy platform tips at her blog, http://www.getknownnowblog.com/