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With the Holidays fast approaching, we all need to be reminded to use our time more effectively.  Here is a great article by Donald Murphy of Atkinson Brothers that the Cliff Cottam Insurance Services staff wanted to share.

7 Tips To Help Manage Your Time

Effectively Stay On Task

1. Keep a list.

Create a daily task list on paper for your whole day or week. If you think creating a list in your mind is just as effective, think again. The truth is, you’re more likely to waste precious time just trying to remember what’s ahead!

* When you take the time to create a list, you’re giving yourself a visual confirmation of what’s next. When you have a list to refer to, there’s no arguing what comes next and you won’t have any excuse to stray from your plan.

2. Schedule time for meetings and events.

Set up specific times when people can come in and interrupt your work. Let your co-workers know what works for you and strive to stick to it as much as possible.

* For example, it’s often helpful if your co-workers know they need to leave you alone for two or three hours in the morning, but then after that they can come in and ask questions or get advice from you as needed.

3. Refuse to check email every five seconds.

If you interrupt your workday by checking your email too frequently, you can get side tracked just as you are building momentum. Set specific times when you check email. It could be twice a day, or every few hours, but the goal is to eliminate unnecessary distractions.

* You can also send an automated reply that explains when you check email and when the sender should expect a response. I’m sure people can wait a few hours for a response!

4. Budget time for Facebook, Twitter and instant messaging services.

Sure, communicating with your clients and colleagues is immensely important but managing your time effectively is most important. If you don’t manage your time on the social networks it will end up managing you and that is not a good thing. Schedule a consistent amount of time per hour to reply to all comments, questions, and conversations that may come your way via social media. I like to schedule 15 minutes per hour to communicate directly with those who communicate with me on Facebook and Twitter. Everyone in our office is assigned a 15 minute block per hour throughout the day to communicate with our clients/perspective clients via social media. This allows us to always be available without being overwhelmed.

5. Use headphones to block out noise.

If you have trouble focusing on your work because of the noise around you, wear a pair of noise-canceling headphones. If you don’t want any sound at all, get some earplugs; it’ll save your sanity!

6. Get a comfortable chair.

Did you know that productivity and comfort go hand-in-hand? It’s true. Having a comfortable chair makes a huge difference in how you think, feel, and perform. If a new chair is out of the budget, get one of those chair cushions. You’ll find that it’s a purchase that pays for itself.

7. Clean up your workspace.

When your desk is clean and organized, it’s much easier to stay focused on the task at hand. Why? Because you don’t have to wade through the stacks and clutter to find what you need.

* Even seeing the piles of junk in your peripheral vision may increase your internal tension! Keep only what you need for your current task and put everything else in its place.

You can stay focused!

Do you think you can implement some of these simple tips in your workflow? I know you can!

You’ll experience a huge difference in your productivity and – more importantly – your happiness, when you apply even just a few of these time-saving techniques. You’ll be able to get more done faster than ever, leaving you with time for more important things, like having fun!

Posted 7:02 AM

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