Distributors are very busy people. They often spend their days training employees, instructing sales staff, meeting with buyers, speaking to customers, getting orders out – and that’s all before noon. Therefore, setting priorities and learning how to effectively manage time is important.
Here are some pointers for getting your daily work schedule under control:
• Start a log. Get a clearer idea of how you currently use your time. Keep a daily log for a week. This will help you get a better idea of how much time you need to allot for each task.
Energy levels may vary throughout the day – most people function at different levels of effectiveness at different times.
Once you have logged your time and tasks for several days, analyze the log. You may be alarmed to see the length of time you spend opening mail, talking to colleagues or dealing with disruptions.
• Set reasonable goals. No one can be perfect. Difficult tasks usually result in avoidance; therefore, you need to set reasonable, achievable – but challenging – goals.
• Create a plan of action. A lot of time management has to do more with what we are not doing rather than what we are doing. You need to start your day with a plan of action to be the most productive. Instead of responding to other people’s demands, do what is important for you to do.
• Prioritize. Another way to manage your time is to prioritize your responsibilities and engagements: assignments need to get done that day; tasks are important and should be completed within the week; items are those tasks that are relatively trivial and can be done after the first two has been done. It is all right to carry some items to the next day.
• Clean your desk. Besides keeping a log and prioritizing, cleaning your desk or work area is important.
• Allow for quality sleep. Studies have shown that nearly 75% of us complain regularly that we are tired during the workday. If you plan your day and then work your plan, you will get more done and feel a greater sense of accomplishment – allowing for a more restful night’s sleep.
• Take a break. Many managers and business owners do not take a lunch break and work through that time period in the hopes that it will give them more time to get things done. Studies have shown that the effects may be just the opposite.
After giving time management a fair chance, it will eventually become a habit.