•Be intentional. Success is predicated on making choices that provide control over time. Plan. Be thoughtful about what activities to perform. Without proactively creating a time management protocol, you leave too much to chance.
•Prioritize. Make a list of all the activities you perform. Next, identify the activities that should be assigned to others and transition them. Now take the remaining tasks, list them in order of importance and estimate how much time each one takes each week or day.
•Schedule. Plug your tasks into your work hours. Schedule higher priority activities first so if you run out of time and cannot finish an activity, it will be a low priority. Second, input the schedule on an electronic (with reminders) calendar such as Outlook. Lastly, small tasks may not need to be scheduled as they can be done during idle time.
•Time block. I have found that creating hour-long "power blocks" of time is a great way to stay focused, be efficient and create an environment free of interruptions and distractions. For example, report/document review, making or returning calls/e-mails, employee meetings or cold calling can all be done in distinct time blocks. During the block, ignore incoming e-mails, phone calls or peers and stay solely focused on the task at hand. Amazingly, individual work interruptions can cause a 5-15 minute loss of productivity and that is why reducing interruptions is a great way to manage your time.
•Create boundaries. Set acceptable and manageable limits to relationships, projects and technology. Many people do not want to set boundaries because they have a hard time saying "no".Be honest with yourself and others and only commit to acceptable limits. This may mean closing your door, not answering a ringing phone or saying "no" to meetings or committees.
Remember, time management can provide you with a competitive advantage.