One minute it’s 8 am and you’re checking your email and the next time you look up it’s 12:45 and you’re starving and ready for lunch! We’ve all been there – and being a business owner with hours that often flex from early morning to late night, can make managing your time and schedule challenging. If you’ve been struggling with how to structure and manage your day to make the most of it – try applying some of these tips!

  • Be purposeful with the first 30 minutes of your day

Before you dive into your emails, evaluate how many hours you really have to work with. For example, go through your calendar and check what meetings, showings and other commitments you have so you can more accurately plan your day.

  • Make a realistic to-do list

With an understanding of how many hours you have to get everything done, you can more easily prioritize for the day and put together a plan of attack for your to-do list. Be honest with yourself and try to predict how long different tasks will take. Also, make sure to prioritize your list. While you might like to get a series of tasks done today, they should probably wait until after all the “must happen” tasks are completed.

  • You cannot teleport, so plan for delays

During the day, whether you’re staying in your office or out with clients, distractions and delays happen. When planning your day and making appointments remember to buffer in time for traffic, unplanned stops (for when the client just HAS to have a cup of coffee) and make sure your calendar isn’t always scheduled back-to-back-to-back. Your stress levels will thank you and you’ll be able to run your day more smoothly.

  • Stop multitasking

All those productivity apps you’ve downloaded – are they helping you? If you’re spending more time managing the programs and switching between tasks constantly, then the answer is probably not. Practice makes perfect when it comes to eliminating (or ignoring) distractions. Whenever possible clump similar tasks from your to-do list together so you can build a rhythm and be more efficient. For example, if you have 10 calls to make, make them all at once rather than spreading them out over the day. Write down action items that come out of each call and tackle them after your calls are done.

  • Turn off when you need to

In a competitive landscape where deals move quickly, it’s hard to imagine turning off your phone or computer – but sometimes that’s exactly what you need to do. If you have a project that you’ve been languishing on (like updating your website or reading a new industry report) turn off your devices, set a timer and hone in on that project. You’ll be shocked at how much you can accomplish with razor focus, even 20 minutes can make a huge difference. Also, those notifications will be waiting for you and you can hop back onto the grid as soon as you’re done!

What do you find helps you when it comes to being productive? How do you plan and prioritize your day? Share your tips in the comments!




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