The Dave Ramsey Way: Time Management and Getting Organized

I had the pleasure of attending Dave Ramsey’s EntreLeadership event last week in Charleston, South Carolina. It was a day packed full of great lessons for entrepreneurs. I’d like to share a few of my favorite parts from the day staring with the lesson on time management and organization.

Going through this lesson highlighted some big ways that I waste time throughout my day. For starters, I constantly check email. I basically have my email account open and every time a new message appears I read it. This is a huge time-waster for me because it distracts me and throws me off course, taking me away from more productive activities. I have a similar problem with social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. Rather than setting aside specific blocks of time for these activities, I use them as a crutch for avoiding tasks that may not be quite as enjoyable, but that are far more important. So now I am setting aside certain times in my day for brief email and social networking checks. Dave says each task falls into one of four quadrants:

I. Quadrant of Necessity: Things like a crisis at work or an emergency fall into this category. It represents tasks that are both important and urgent. These are activities you should do.

II. Quadrant of Leadership: Items that fall into this area include preparation, planning, relationship building, reading, prayer, and exercise. The items in this quadrant have low urgency but are very important. These are activities you should do.

III. Quadrant of Deception: Examples of tasks that fall into this category include someone else’s crisis, phone calls and interruptions. These are activities you should delegate.

IV. Quadrant of Default/Waste: These items are not important or urgent. They include watching TV, gossiping or doing anything in excess. These items should be discarded completely or delegated.

One point to consider is that everything that is in the second quadrant will be moved to quadrant one if it is ignored. For instance, if you ignore your health by eating poorly or not exercising that will become an urgent situation. Dave Ramsey highlighted the importance of a to-do list saying that studies have shown spending 15 minutes every morning on a To-Do list will give you an average of two hours a day in productivity. Some tips for saving time and being more productive include:

* Avoiding meetings that wander
* Preparing for meetings ahead of time
* Keeping your desk organized daily

Next Lesson: Finding Financial Peace in your Business

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