How can you more effectively manage your busy day? Of course you can delegate or remove some of the things you do. Or do what you do better and faster (for example the computer work I'm always going on about). , there are other ways that you can work smarter instead of longer and harder.

Here are five simple mistakes you should avoid which decrease your daily success both on and off the job. How many of these are you guilty of?

1. Starting your day without a plan of action. Time management is doing the right things at the right time. Perhaps the best use of when you're bright and energetic first thing in the morning is not going through gobs of emails. Rather it's the 'money time'. Time when you'll catch people at their desk. Perhaps returning phone calls should be first.

2. Losing balance in your life. Our lives comprise seven vital areas that need balance. These areas include health, family, financial, intellectual, social, professional, and spiritual. If you neglect any one area, you can easily eventually sabotage your success.


3. Working with a messy desk or work area. I've researched this on the internet and found that studies have shown that the person who works with a messy desk spends, on average, one and a half hours per day looking for; or being distracted by things. This statistic sounds inflated, but if you add up even 10 minutes per day (45 working weeks a year) that is one full working week a year. Organised equals more free time.

4. Getting insufficient sleep. Studies show that nearly 75 per cent of us complain on a regular basis that we are tired. Most people get the quantity, but lack the quality of sleep, due to stress overload from the busy day.

5. Giving up a lunch break. Are you one of the guilty people that do not take a lunch break? Studies have shown (and I'm sure you have felt it) that after doing what you do for several hours, you start to "dull out." A lunch break, even a short fifteen-minute break, gives you a chance to get your batteries charged up again to more effectively handle the afternoon's challenges.

Bonus. I cannot resist. Even with all these non-computer actions listed, I still must insist that one of the best ways to claw back hours upon hours upon hours of wasted time per month is to make the time to learn your software better. There are simply so many diamonds waiting there for you - ready to help you free up time normally wasted.

Recommendation? Prioritise. End your day with a list of things to do tomorrow. Ensure they are in order of importance and timeliness. Don't forget to add on the list a few minutes for prospecting/marketing and hovering that mouse over one menu item to learn something new. Then first thing in the morning - follow your list.