Using Your Time in an Efficient Manner

May 23, 2010

Q: Using time effectively is especially important to sales, management and customer service folks, since most of us often juggle differing and sometimes conflicting projects or processes. Any thoughts for help us smooth time constraints to a manageable mission in our busy lives?

A: Like everyone else, we have families, friends, personal needs and obligations, recreation, hobbies, and other things we want to do with our lives. So the effective management of our time is critical to reaching our goals, aspirations, and success. Three of the biggest “time-wasters” are:

A. Not being organized within a defined arena
B. Not spending effective time on our top priorities
C. Not efficiently handling communication issues

The following may seem like over simplification but take pause for a moment and reflect on your personal situation and take inventory of the following concepts;

1. Organize your desk and e-mail receptacle for maximum efficiency (utilizing bins, folders, etc.)

2. Make a list (IN WRITING AND NOT JUST IN YOUR HEAD) of the things you want to accomplish this week. Rank these tasks in order of importance. Always focus your time that you have assigned to the items that are rated “most important”.

3. Prioritize everything into three categories: “Mission Critical-Handle Today”, “Need to Do Soon”, and “Would Like to Do Sometime in the Future”. Focus on the “Mission Critical” items today. If time permits, start working on the “Need to Do Soon” items. Shift these items to the “Mission Critical” pile as deadlines approach. Be realistic about the “Would Like to Do Sometime in the Future” items. Unless you can handle it in less than two minutes, file (or discard, where appropriate).

4. Use the “touch once” rule. Try to handle each piece of mail or e-mail on the first touch. For items that can be resolved in 2 minutes or less, handle them now. For those items that will take longer to resolve, prioritize handling using tip #2.

Be relentless in striving for efficient use of your time. After all, it’s that very concept that we suggest to our employees, family and even clients! Time can be your best friend or your worst enemy…..as always, the choice remains with you.
As always, please accept my wishes for a tremendous week. Your questions and comments are always welcome. If I can assist you, please call or write and I will respond immediately!


George F. Mancuso,CPC
Gman Business Resources
Grinnell, Iowa