Whether you own the business, work at the front desk or fill orders in the warehouse, there are always distractions that will compete for your attention throughout the day. You may not realize this, but these distractions can be affecting your productivity, profit and most importantly your peace of mind. Here’s the bottom line, it’s time to get a handle on how YOU are using the limited time that you have in a work day. If you don’t manage your time, someone else will!

Organization and time management is an art that very few individuals are born with. Most people must make the effort to learn how to be more organized by recognizing and changing their poor habits. Once you have done this, you can develop a new process that will work for you for the long term. Here are three fundamental steps to building a process that that will help you organize your workday:

Put It In Writing
Writing and planning are the core “must do’s” for effective time management. Many people tend to think about what needs to be done, but never put it in writing. According to Dennis Snedden, president of a well-respected workplace productivity consulting firm, the first step to smart time management is a simple one — write it down. “You can’t do what you can’t remember,” he says. “That doesn’t mean that you will take action on everything that you write down. It just means that you won’t forget it.” He adds, “Before you leave the office, before you stop work for the day, on the way home . . . any time before your head hits the pillow at night, have tomorrow planned.”
Set An End Goal For Each Day
Goals are best defined by assigning priorities to your task list. By prioritizing, you can identify realistic and manageable tasks and achieve better results with a more focused effort. Say “yes” to activities that support your prioritized tasks and “no” to those that are not as important to your end goal. When you do this, you will find that you are more likely to meet your deadlines and get more done in a day than ever before.
Guard Your Peak Hours
Determine your peak hours of performance, focus on the plan of action, and work proactively to the end goal. “You can get two to three times more work done during your peak hour and-a-half than you can during your ‘off peak’ hours,” Snedden says. “Guard this time zealously. Let others know the best times not to interrupt and disturb you. You’ll get more done and be in control of your day, your week, your month and your life.”