Time Management in the Information Age

Time is the limiting factor of all people, rich or poor.  No matter how successful you are, there will always be 24 hours in a day.  However, it seems that as our technology takes leaps and bounds the amount of time we have shifts.  We can accomplish things more quickly, accessing and assessing information.  We also seem to have less time.  We are reachable all the time and more is expected of us because of the gadgets we have.

Then the real question is: What is the best way to manage our time in the Information Age?

Some people, like Lewis Cardin, believe that the day should be partitioned into to address different groups.  For example, 30% of your spent dealing with external obligations like clients and vendors.  Then, 30% should be dealt handling with internal matters such as payroll, and employee matters.  The next 30% could be used to handle production. Finally, the last 10% should be spent on yourself.  Lunch anyone?

Of course these percentages are flexible and will vary day-to-day.  However, the general proportions are sound.  So now you have an overarching theme to your business day.  Do we have any tips for the specifics of time management?  Of course we do.

One issue that I’ve personally had are calls that go on too long.  To deal with this, I take a minute before dialing and decide my goal.  Is it to network or get certain information?  It’ll help to know when to terminate the call.  If you have multiple objectives, perhaps you can find a way to group similar ones together and space out your calls.  If you get into the habit of this, people on the other end might actually be more apt to help you since they know you aren’t call with a dozen different issues. This tip works best when dealing with another small business.

E-mails are fast becoming the more preferred form of communication.  It’s instant and leaves a record of what was said.  The tendency is the usually to answer them as quickly as possible.  For internal e-mails, setting up a system of priority is essential.  That way, you can deal with low-mid priority e-mails in one concentrated sitting.  It’s more efficient and you’ll be dragged away from work less.  To learn more about getting a company e-mail server set up click here.

A final word on time management in the Information Age is to accept limits.  All this wonderful technology won’t add more hours to the day.  In the end, you have to succumb to the knowledge that you can’t get everything done today.