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Your time is priceless

By Michael G. Shinn
NNPA Columnist

YOUR MONEY MATTERS

“‘Time is money’, is an antiquated term. Time is a non-renewable resource. Once it’s gone, it’s gone. In fact, your time is priceless,” states Wayne Bergman, a business coach with ActionCOACH in Cleveland, Ohio. “I consult with small businesses and in many instances, the biggest constraint to future growth may be the individual owner and their inability to manage their time effectively. Setting and reviewing goals, prioritizing, delegating low value tasks and putting systems in place are some of the key elements that we help them to implement in their business.”

Why we Waste Time?

If our time is so important, why do we waste it? Too often we have a false sense of immortality and the feeling that we will live forever. Many people have poorly defined life and business goals. Their lack of focus allows them to wander aimlessly without a clear direction. Many times we procrastinate and put off important tasks that are ultimately not completed. Other people or outside influences can cause us to lose focus. Finally, in too many instances, we lack the knowledge of how to manage our time effectively.

Improving your time management can increase your productivity, enhance your sense of accomplishment, reduce stress and allow more time for your family and close relationships. Today is the first day of the rest of your life. Live it more abundantly by effectively managing your time.

Time Management Tips

Managing your time means working smarter, not harder. The objective is to increase your effectiveness and not add another layer of burden to an already stretched schedule. The following are some key steps that may help to improve your time management:

- Set goals and priorities: Write out and prioritize your goals for the next twelve months. Break your goals down into quarterly tasks and review them regularly.

- Organize your schedule: Use a calendar device that fits your style. Consider a pocket calendar, Franklin Planner, Outlook, Google or Blackberry, etc. Most importantly use a device that you can carry with you and that you will use regularly.

- First things first: Set aside time near the end of each day to plan and prioritize your activities for the following day. Create a “to do” list for tomorrow and include time to work on your major goals.

- Avoid Time Wasters: Telephone interruptions, email, meetings, unscheduled visitors, etc. can create major time inefficiencies. Where possible, schedule time for returning phone calls, answering emails and meeting with visitors. Question whether your attendance at a meeting is necessary?

- Delegate: Where possible delegate lower value tasks to subordinates, other team or family members. This can be a positive learning experience for them and it can allow you to work on higher value projects. However, it is your responsibility to make sure that the other person understands the task and how to perform it.

Time Management Training

There are numerous courses available for time management training. Trade associations such as the American Management Association at www.amanet.org; online courses such as www.worldwidelearn.org and local community college courses. Another resource is www.time-management-guide.com, which lists selected articles on time management, audio tapes and training. Taking the time to learn how to better manage your time will prove to be a very worthwhile investment. (These Web sites are provided as a courtesy and are not under the control of Financial Network Investment Corporation.)

Michael G. Shinn is a registered rep. and financial advisor through Financial Network Investment Corp. Contact Shinn at www.shinnfinancial.com.

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