“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1)
Does this sound a little familiar? This situation is common amongst entrepreneurs as we readily see opportunity or value and want to develop them into something worthwhile. We envision how we can create a new product or potentially improve something, and we need time to do just that. Being efficiently productive is crucial and can only be accomplished with a good system of time management, or what I like to call “time planning.” We can only manage our time when we plan our time. Otherwise, time is likely managing us instead of the other way around.
“A” refers to “Act” – the work actions you are responsible for. They are the tasks and responsibilities you need to complete, and for which you need to designate specific time in your schedule for. These are the things that are still on your mind or on your agenda which need to be completed. See the following five tips to “do a catch-up so you can stay caught up.”
Tip #1: This week, plan time in your schedule to sit down and fully review what has been on your mind and agenda to be fully completed. Physically write down each item. It does not matter if it is a high priority, a low priority or if it would be a good idea and beneficial for the business. Think of the different areas of your business. Write down everything which comes to mind. This process should take about five minutes to do.
Tip #2: For this section, think of the items on your list as if they were clothes in your closet. Should you keep it, throw it away or give it away? Take five minutes and ask yourself the following questions for each item:
Tip #3: Highlight the items you have decided to keep. Take five minutes to do this.
Tip #4: “Star” the top three you will start to plan time for. Choose the most important one, the one which will take the longest, and the one that can be quickly done. Take 5 minutes to assign these.
Tip #5: You have now reached the “A” in your ACE schedule, where you are now going to actively plan your time to finally complete what you have wanted to accomplish. For this tip, you will need your agenda. Take about 10 minutes to do this.
Therefore, the thirty minutes you spend on this activity will save you three hundred minutes. Wow! That is a great investment of your time and the first step in successful time planning.
Bonny, Christian Women at Work