Friday, January 6, 2012

How Do You Manage It All?

From Flickr User orcmid
As I delve into the challenges of self-employment, the first obstacle I faced was time management. I quickly found that laundry, dishes, and dusting became high-priority tasks. I also spent a lot of time planning and over-analyzing when I should have been executing tasks to accomplish goals and meet deadlines.

How does the beginner indiepreneur efficiently manage time?

I love these tips from the productivity masters at Mashable. Sarah Kessler has divided tips by workspace including home office, co-working spaces, coffee shops, and on the road. My favorites involve eliminating obsessive email-checking, curbing distractions, and realizing your most productive time of day (Mine is certainly 8am to lunch. After that I’m worthless!)

I was encouraged to document my time and create a schedule in order to start good habits. As tedious as it sounds, a project management system may be a sound strategy for accountability and efficiency. 

What free resources exist for time-management?

I’ve had a lot of success by simply using a Google Doc spreadsheet to track my hours and keep me focused. It’s great for document sharing and calendaring as well. But I’m ready to move onto something more advanced. The folks at Do offer a free app for team and workflow management, and it comes highly recommended for simple project management. I’ve also heard good things about Asana and am planning on using it for a social media project at work. I’ll trial both applications and offer my reviews here.

I’m also thinking about picking up a copy of Getting Things Done, David Allen’s seminal productivity manual. I’ll let you know how it works out.

What are your tips for time management? How do you stay focused at your office, home or in the coffee shop?

Have a productive week!

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