Time management is more about self-management than it is about managing a commodity that just keeps on moving on no matter what you do.
From a business perspective, to manage yourself, i.e., to make the most of your time, you need to…
1. Have desire – you need to want to do something in particular.
2. Have a business vision based on your desire.
3. Create business and marketing plans that spell out the tasks you must complete to make your vision real (how you will achieve your vision).
4. Set A, B, C business priorities based on your business and marketing plans and on other facets, such as the administrative ones, required to run your business.
5. Break large tasks down into manageable chunks. (How do you eat an apple? One bit at a time!)
6. Based on your priorities, schedule the tasks you have to complete.
7. Keep a time sheet for at least 12 weeks to track what you do and to plug time leaks and keep yourself honest.
8. Maintain your timesheet if you bill clients by the hour or conduct timesheet spot-checks every couple of months to ensure you are on track.
9. Reward your accomplishments. Set goals. Achieve them. Reward yourself.
10. Repeat all of the above as necessary to accomplish your business vision.
Paul Lima is a freelance writer, copywriter, business writing instructor and media interview trainer. He is also the author of several books on the business of freelance writing, including The Six-Figure Freelancer: How to find, price and manage corporate writing assignments.