At times, putting extra time into a project is inevitable. In other instances, it can be avoided with a few tweaks in your process. Either way, figuring out what zaps your time can help you to maximize it and the potential money you make in the future. Here are 3 tips to reclaim some of your time while working.

1. Properly save contact information.

It pays to be organized. Make it a rule to store contact information from new business cards, phone numbers  or email address scribbled on the back of an envelope. If it’s easier for you to do it in the moment while it fresh on your mind, have a spreadsheet handy to log in new contact information. You won’t have to scramble later on or search through endless emails to hunt it down. If it’s a potential client, you might be leaving money on the table and spending too much time looking for information that you can’t find. This is time you can spend on paid work, invoicing clients to collect payments or landing other clients.

2. Dodge verbal headlocks.

If you’re stuck in the moment and someone is talking your ear off when you have to get back to work or is overly picking your brain, try to change the subject politely or mention websites they can reference. If they persist, hand them your business card and tell them to email you. Then politely excuse yourself. They might get the hint and realize they were bending your ear a bit. If they do follow through by email, you can explain how you offer your expertise as a service and ask them if they are interested in becoming a client.

3. Set a timer when talking.

Don’t take too much time talking on the phone if things can be managed by email. Sometimes explaining your services via phone or Skype can establish a rapport and human connection, you can’t avoid it altogether but set a time limit for the call from the beginning so you let the person know your time is limited. If they still have questions, have them email you or send them FAQ in a document or point them to your website.

The Bottom Line

It’s easy to waste time while working and numerous ways to do so. Keep tabs on your time so you can better manage it and be aware or productivity drains to better handle them in the future.

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Karen is a Nationally Syndicated Personal Finance Writer who sharpens her skills at US News Money. You can also find her placing clients on podcasts and reading about home office organization, productivity and habits.

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