Everybody from your dealership’s general manager to each salesman or saleswoman needs to spend their working time efficiently. But some time management activities can take up a lot of time themselves. That’s counterproductive.

So instead of asking you to read a longthesis on organizational efficiency, here are five simple and easy tips that you can begin using today.

Plan Your Day in Advance

Before you leave work, take two minutes to think about the things you must do tomorrow. Then jot them down on a piece of paper. It could be as simple as a post-itnote.

As you make your list, separate the tasks into things that you must do, like writing that big report for the dealership’s general manager, as opposed to things that won’t be a big deal if they don’t get done, like picking up the dry-cleaning. List the VIP tasks at the top of your post-itnoteand the things of lesser importance at the bottom of the paper.

Why separate tasks like that? Because no plan survives a typical workday. You will be interrupted. Having a written list helps you refocus after interruptions and get back on track faster.

Do the Most Important Tasks at the Time You Work Best

Some people advise doing your most important tasks first, preferably early in the morning. That’s great advice for people who wake up before the sun rises and hit the ground running.

But that’s lousy advice for people who don’t really focus until later in the day, like after lunch. So, if you are one of those people who works best late in the day, save your VIP tasks till then. Do your less critical work earlier in the day, when you are not at your peak. Make sense?

Plan Your Long-Term Goals Too

It’s fun to anticipate time off, like that 2-week vacation, hunting trip or cruise that you have coming up next year. Why not spend 15 minutes, maybe twice a week, gathering information about the trip? Things to do, things to see, where to eat; start collecting all those bits of information and keep them in a folder.

Why do this in an organized fashion? Because spending time working on things you like is a valuable way to re-energise your mind. It’s been said that the only way to relax a mind is to put it to work on something pleasant and interesting.

Got A Big Project You Are Avoiding? Poke Holes in It

We gave the example a big report you might have to write, perhaps one for the dealership’s general manager. Why did we use that example? Because it’s a good illustration of a big project, one that will take up a lot of time, and is unpleasant – so it’s easy to put off until the last minute.

But putting off a big project, and then working like a banshee to get it done, is not an efficient way to work. Quality suffers. It’s much better to begin working in small bits of time as you gear up for the task.

Do you have 10 free minutes in your schedule, perhaps three times a day? Use those bits of time to take small bites out of the project. That’s called ‘poking holes in it.’

Read the Book: How to Get Control of Your Time and Your Life, by Alan Lakein

All the ideas we’ve mentioned came from Lakein’s famous little book on time management. You can read the book quickly in 10-minute snippets throughout your day. You’ll be glad you did.

If you enjoyed this article, feel free to pass it along to your dealership friends.