Best Practices: Become the Master of Your Own Time

John Follett

Time Management

As your list of to do’s continues to grow, you may find yourself working harder to make good service a priority. Unfortunately, as businesses get busy, good service sometimes falls to the wayside. And that’s a big mistake. Instead, learn to manage your time so all aspects of your business gets the time and energy they deserve.

Use these tips to become the master of your own time:

  • Block out distractions like Facebook and other social media platforms unless these tools are essential to your business.  Social media takes up a lot of our online time – far more than we realize.  When you’re trying to get work done, do yourself a favor and eliminate social media.
  • Take the first minutes of your day to plan your day. Don’t start your day without a plan. Make an outline of what must be accomplished, and what you hope to complete. It’s essential to take a few minutes to decide what a priority is and what isn’t to avoid missing deadlines.
  • Prepare to have interruptions – they happen. Plan to be pulled away from tasks you’re working diligently to complete. This holds especially true for those who work in an office setting. Noisy co-workers, impromptu meetings and face-to-face actions are all things that kill your productivity in the work place.
  • If you have to get work done, go ahead and put up a Do Not Disturb Sign. If you work from home and have family members that may need you, let them know that you’re only available for emergencies. About 61 percent of employees want to work fewer hours than they do, and by getting organized and working efficiently, this wish can become a reality.
  • Use an appointment book. To-do lists can become long and unattainable, leaving you frustrated. Write in times and specifics on what you need to accomplish. Create time blocks for these high-priority actions – and have the discipline to keep these appointments.
  • While it’s important to answer your phone and email, it’s okay if sometimes you return a voicemail or answer an email an hour or two after it’s sent. You don’t always have to give people your attention instantaneously unless it’s a crucial part of your position. If you’re working on a deadline that’s urgent, finish it and respond to the messages as soon as you can.

Anyone you talk to will likely say that they need more hours in their day. Combine these tips with some discipline and you’re sure to be on your way to becoming the master of your own time.

How do you make sure you stay on top of your work tasks and effectively manage your time?

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Megan Totka is the Chief Editor for She specializes on the topic of small business tips and resources. helps small businesses grow their business on the web and facilitates connectivity between local businesses and more than 7,000 Chambers of Commerce worldwide.