Dr. Mark Frohman

Dr. Mark Frohman

You might be busy, but what comes out of all that effort?

By Dr. Mark Frohman
Business Columnist

0 Comments | Leave a Comment

Busy? Probably. But unfortunately, being busy does not necessarily mean being productive. The opposite often is closer to the truth. If you’re like many people, however, you are busy and sometimes run late, miss deadlines, bounce from one thing to another and end up stressed.

Time out. Here are tips to be more productive and keep stress down:

  • Set specific goals – Know where you’re going first, then you can figure out the steps to take and in what order. People neglect goal setting because it requires time and mental effort. What they fail to consider is that a little time and effort put in up front saves an enormous amount of wasted time, effort, frustration and stress later.
  • Pinpoint top priorities – Most people have a to-do list. That’s good, but it is not enough. The problem is lists are just a collection of things to get done. Unless the most important to-do’s are high-lighted on the list, time is not well managed. The biggest bang for the buck is working on the more important, higher value tasks. Therefore, prioritizing the tasks is essential. Without that, you might work hard on less important things and you won’t achieve the top-notch results you are capable of.
  • Make a schedule – When you know what your goals and priorities are, prepare a schedule that breaks down the task into smaller but meaningful chunks and action steps. The schedule should include progress checkpoints.
  • Allow time for distractions – This means understanding the factors that affect your work. You should leave room for interruptions and contingency time for unexpected and urgent events that otherwise conflict with your schedule and your performance.
  • Eviscerate procrastination – “I’ll get to it later” is the downfall of many good people, often leading to work piling up to the point it cannot be finished on time. The way to beat procrastination is by accepting you do it. Then figure out why. Perhaps you dislike facing hard choices called for in the task, are afraid of failing or simply lack priorities or the discipline to set a realistic schedule. Once you know why, act on stopping the evil habit as a top priority.

Wishing for more hours in the day does not work. Working smarter with the time you have and setting goals, priorities and realistic schedules will – at least most of the time.

To help, Braswell Memorial Library and SCORE will offer a free time management workshop from 5:30-7:15 p.m. Tuesday in the library’s second floor computer lab.

Dr. Mark Frohman is the owner of Frohman Consulting Corp. and a counselor with SCORE, a nonprofit business-consulting group.