12 time-management tips to help you stay balanced

For many of us, it seems like there’s never enough time in the day. While we like being busy, it’s a challenge to keep our balancing act going strong. It’s hard to work under the gun, but it’s definitely a part of being in business, and putting things off is not a choice.

Here are a few tips for maintaining your balance that I’ve learned from some time-management experts:

  1. Clear the clutter. There’s a clutter epidemic. Almost all of my business friends tell me that clutter can sometimes take over their lives, both personally and professionally. Experts tell us to get rid of anything that will distract us from our current work.
  2. Get organized before jumping into a project. Make sure all the data is relevant and current. Taking time to go over this can prevent stress later. Anticipate any possible change and ask questions.
  3. Know, and have ready, everything a current project requires. This can make a critical difference.
  4. Focus. A while back I learned that multitasking is out and “spotlighting” is in. Try doing two important jobs at the same time and Murphy’s Law says one will go very, very wrong. Focusing on each individual project, even though there are several deadlines looming, is the best way to make sure they all get done right. Focus is vital.
  5. Avoid interruptions. Everyone faces this challenge on a daily basis. Countless tasks and interruptions can eat away at the day’s priorities and keep you from spending time on the work at hand.
  6. Communicate and share. When deadlines loom and you wonder if you’ll be able to meet all your obligations on time, ask for help.
  7. Keep a good calendar/planner — or at the very least, a good weekly/daily to-do list. You need to have a work scheduler so you don’t overbook.
  8. Prioritize wisely. Prioritizing will ease stress. Don’t make a promise you can’t keep. Don’t say yes to a project unless you know you’ll have the time, energy, and resources to complete it. I believe that it’s better to recommend a good competitor than to lose a customer because you’re unable to complete the work.



Some of the above suggestions may help when deadlines seem overwhelming. But we also need to take care of ourselves so we stay healthy, ready, and able to do the work. Here are some suggestions from the experts for staying sane under pressure:

  1. Sleep. Try to get six to eight hours in every night. Stress can interfere with your sleep routine, so try to leave your work challenges at the workplace.
  2. Remember the old saying “get a life!” When you’re at work, be totally at work. When you leave for the day, be away. It’s very easy to carry business burdens with you every waking minute.
  3. Keep a journal of things that you enjoy and get them on your “personal time calendar.” Every day, try to do at least one thing you enjoy.
  4. Take a walk during your lunch break. Even a 10-minute walk will help you reduce your stress.

The bottom line is that when we’re busy, we are all circus performers. The way we do our balancing act affects our performance and the results we deliver. Hopefully some or all of these suggestions will help you stay calm, collected, and well balanced as you work through busy times.

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