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How to Improve Your Time Management

Time is the mother of all precious commodities.

Time is probably the most valuable thing to a businessperson of any caliber. Time means getting work done, meeting with people, commuting, and free time, and all of that adds up to profit and a good work-life balance. Too much time, and you’re probably not making as much money as you could. Not enough time, and you end up in a crunch, which is bad for your health. So, the million-second question is this: how do you balance your time? Answer: The three As: Awareness, Arrangement, and Adaptation.

For awareness, you need to treat your time like a meter. You need to know exactly how much time is in that meter and how much you expend or leave over on a normal day. Try keeping a stopwatch handy during the day and timing yourself to see how long your normal duties and routines take you. If a particular task is taking up too much of your time, and time could be spent better elsewhere, you need to change up how you approach it.

Arrangement refers to how you structure your day. Some tasks are accomplished more easily during certain times of day, or when they’re immediately preceded or followed by a particular other task. Remember that “urgency” and “importance” aren’t quite the same thing; in some cases, an important task should be pushed back to get all of the little things out of the way, while in other cases, it needs to be done first thing in the morning. You’ve got to assemble a schedule that works for you.

Lastly is adaptation. Life is often unpredictable; even if you’ve got the perfect schedule going, sooner or later something will come along that throws the whole thing out of whack. You need to be able to adapt your tasks and priorities on the fly to accommodate any last-minute surprises, lest you be caught with your pants down and end up in a crunch.

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