…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?

First take a nice deep breath, then settle back into your chair and
read. I\’m here to share some really helpful info with you that has
radically altered how I use my time. Now I not only have more time, I\’m
more relaxed and when I am working, I\’m a lot more focused.

I got some excellent coaching on this from my business coach, Rich
Schefren – some of whose tips I\’m sharing here. Others are ideas I\’ve
added myself.

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. (I was SUCH a bad
multi-tasker, that all kinds of things got unnecessarily jumbled.) 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 make 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.

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 (which I\’m learning this summer)
and it\’s fun! A great little break. 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.