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Time is one directional. Once it is gone, it is gone. You cannot get it back. You cannot make it up. However, what you can do is get in control of your time by making the best use of it. The number of books written on time management is endless. Therefore, there is no loss for words on how to manage time. I have identified seven effective ways individuals can get control of their time.

Donate, Dump, Store

The very first step to get in control of your time is to get organized. Try getting rid of items you do not need or do not use and then create ‘homes’ for items you choose to keep. You can spend several hours a day searching for misplaced items when there is disorganization. This can result in frustration, tiredness, and eventually you will give up. How productive is that? So, donate it, dump it, or store it – in a home.

Buy Out Time

Anytime you make a purchase there is an exchange. You give the sales associate or clerk the money and then you get the goods. So what are you willing to exchange for time? If you watch television for several hours a day, why not buy two hours of time from that? Do you text, talk, or hang out on social media for hours at a time? Perhaps you can buy two or three hours of time from that. Think about the things you are spending a lot of time on that is less important than what you truly want to do or need to do, and buy time from it.

Establish Routines

Set specific times for each day of the week for when you will check and respond to your email, voicemail, and mail. Do the same when working on minor or major projects. Use the batman rule of thumb – Same bat channel. Same bat time. Same bat station.

Build in Variety

When planning your day, if the first two hours will have you sitting, schedule the next hour or two for things that will have you moving about. It keeps the energy flowing. With your energy level up, you will obviously get more done.

Plan Your Calls

If you have to call a long-winded colleague, plan your call. Many time management experts agree it takes about eight minutes to complete a planned called. However, it takes about 15 minutes to complete an unplanned call. On the other side of that coin, if you’re on the receiving end of the call, tell the caller that you have two minutes to spare, but if you can call them back, you’ll be able to talk longer.

Use the 10-Minute Response Rule

If you have a coworker who is constantly interrupting you and asking for your assistance, use the 10-minute response rule to keep control of your time. Tell the coworker to give you 10 minutes and you will be right over. Now, I ask you – What usually happens when you ask someone to wait for you to assist them? Most of the time, they will figure it out for themselves.

Just Say No

No explanation needed.