Time is Money: The Benefits of Creating an Effective Daily To-Do List

frozen_time_clock-t2We’ve all been there. Not enough hours in the day. Days in the week … You know the drill.

Time is precious.

Working within the fast-paced realm of the restaurant & hospitality industry as food service consultants, we put out fires (sometimes literally!) daily. Within such a busy and demanding environment, daily tasks constantly get placed on the backburner.

But, fortunately we have our founder, Dan Simons, who is a little (dare we say?) obsessed with time management and how to BEST utilize your time.

We love the methods and tactics Dan shares with us during restaurant staff training sessions – and the fact that he firmly believes in our team having the ability to lead, as he says “one harmonious life” as opposed to chasing the myth of a “work-life balance.”

So, we approached him to encapsulate his top three most effective time management skills, which stem from his very own Personal Productivity Map.

Keep reading. You’ll be glad you invested the time …

  • Turn Tasks INTO Time. It can be done! Start by making a habit of having the foresight to think through an item that’s been added to your to-do list. Meaning: turn tasks into time by immediately determining the total amount of time it will take you to complete said task, and then block out that time on your calendar. Whether it’s a block of one hour or 90 minutes, a week or six weeks, this habit will afford you the opportunity to concentrate on the assignments you’ve decided are a priority and not get stuck on the everyday minutia that we all so often drown in.
  • Be Honest. Become Accurate. To that point, reflect and forecast honestly on how long tasks actually take you. Can you be direct in a phone conversation or do you regularly chitchat? Do you assess your commute based on the one time every light was green and you didn’t get stuck behind any school buses? Realistically estimating the time it takes to complete daily functions, such as commuting time, making phone calls, chatting after a meeting, etc., along with building the skill of forecasting how long specific projects or assignments require, will determine whether tasks pile up and bury you or you’ll be more proactive by accurately forecasting and planning for them.
  • Be an Influencer. Stand out to your managers and team by influencing those around you to manage their time effectively. Timesavers like using a shared calendar at work, AND at home, can be highly effective. For example, eliminate the time (it adds up!) it takes to email your spouse to find out where and when your children’s baseball and soccer games are. Instead, get the whole schedule on a shared calendar that syncs with your work calendar. It’s not about balancing home and work, it is about having one harmonious life!

*photo top right: www.snoron.com images