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Avoiding Stress in Business

Posted On: 2007-01-30

Entrepreneur-Magazine-Women-in-Business-Show/segment/8882.html">Listen to this podcast

Hi everybody, this is Gail Carson back again with some timely tips for your time management. And we talked a little bit last segment about stress and geographically grouping your tasks together, and identifying who your stressors are. But I want you to also do a time log for two weeks. In other words, until, I do a time log every single day, seven days a week, believe it or not. I keep track of what I do because my whole focus is to get rid of the things that I consider dumb, for lack of a better word, to doing things that are very productive. So, what I do is I just write down everything I do every single day, and the whole goal is to pick up another 30 minutes a day. If I can get you to become 30 minutes better every single day, I will hand you, at the end of the year, 22 eight-hour days. Twenty-two eight-hour days in the normal work world, not an entrepreneurial work world, but in a normal work world is an extra month. That's an extra month. Every single year that you get. So my goal is to become a month better every single year. And one of the ways that you do that is to get a time log done. So I want you to start keeping track of your time. In other words, how long does it take you to get up and get out in the morning. Supposing you start at 9 o'clock in the morning at your job. Well then, keep track from 9 to 9:30, what do I do. From 9:30 to 10, what do I do, from 10 to 10:30, what do I do? And start looking at who is interrupting you. Who actually walks into your life and asks you to do things. How many times does the phone ring that you need to answer? How often do you check your email, or does email beep you and tell you that you have a message? Depending on what you do, and what your response factor is, you're going to find a tremendous amount of time in there that you're wasting on people and things that don't really need your attention. And you will also find that if the same people do interrupt you, they always have the same questions, so maybe you need to write out a procedure for that. Or maybe you need to say, come back at 5 o'clock and I'll talk to you about it then. You'll be surprised how many people will solve their own problems if they know they have to come back and see you at 5 o'clock. So you're going to find out a lot about what you're lacking in terms of procedures, about who interrupts you the most. Why do people call you on the telephone? How responsive are you to email, you don't have to answer it every hour, maybe twice a day, in the beginning of the day and the end of the day, maybe that's the time you do it. But whatever it is, if you begin with a time log, you'll discover what your strengths are and what your weaknesses are. You need to write everything down, even things you're sure you're never going to forget, because the mind considers the act of writing something down a completion. You need to set deadlines for every single thing that you do. And you also have to make sure that you have a daily meeting, 15 minutes, preferably one in the morning and one at night, if you have a staff. If you don't have a staff, you can have a 15 minute meeting with yourself and say, what are the three absolute positive things that I need to get done today, or I'm in deep trouble...

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