Top 10 Time Management tips to boost productivity
Time management is a huge factor in any profession but is especially important to business owners. Owning and running any kind of business can be a difficult, stressful and exhausting role.
Are there ever enough hours in your day to get everything done? We would guess not. Having said that, a productive day is almost certainly a well managed day.
Here is our handy list of time saving know-hows to help you master the art of time management:
Sometimes, ‘done’ is better than perfect
It can be all too easy to spend longer than necessary on a task because you want to make sure it is perfect. However, sometimes doing your best is good enough. Make sure that you don’t spend a day completing something that should only take an hour; in most cases, you can come back and improve on it another day and with the benefit of fresh eyes.
Invest in automation
According to Wrike Project Management, 40% of productivity is lost when employees are constantly switching between different tasks. Invest in apps and online tools that will streamline small manual processes and eradicate the need to jump from one function to another.
As tempting as it can be to try and do every task yourself, be everywhere and know about everything that happens in your business; don’t be afraid to ask for help. Time management can be as much about changing your behaviour as it can be about getting things done.
Your skill set most likely lies in the organisational operations of the business and that is where you are most needed. Trust your employees to take on tasks such as book keeping, accounts and customer service.
Learning how to delegate and let go of some control can be difficult, but once you have mastered it you will wonder what you ever did without it.
Quit Mindless Meetings
Meetings can be a fantastic way to get things done and get the ball rolling on an important project. They can be the birthplace of some fantastic ideas and the sounding board for some really innovative concepts.
However, if there are more important things that you need to be doing then meetings can also be a chronic waste of your time. Try to identify which meetings you need to attend, and those that can happen without you to be later summarised in an email. The less meetings you attend, the more free time you will have to play with.
As a business owner you might find that you are working at all hours of the day. Checking emails in bed, making calls on your morning commute and preparing for conferences at the dinner table. This can certainly be a sign of poor time management.
Professor Mark Cropley, a leading psychologist at the University of Surrey specialising in health and stress, believes our inability to separate our working lives and our leisure time is having potentially devastating consequences.
It really is important to switch off from work for a few hours of the day to allow your brain to recharge. Stress and overactive strain can result from demanding circumstances, deadlines, sudden information and ongoing and mounting responsibilities and can cause huge problems to your mental health. There’s more about this here.
Trust your team
Never forget that the staff you employ will often have their own ideas about how to do their jobs better and may even have more insight than you do into certain parts
of the day to day running of the business. Utilise their collective knowledge and use it to implement better processes which will improve time management and make things run more smoothly for everyone.
Play to your strengths
Are you a morning person or are you most productive in the afternoon? Have you identified that you work better in certain kind of environment? Do you prefer working in groups or are you best in a silent area with no distractions? Figuring out your most successful way of working can really help to improve your time management.
Allocate bigger tasks to times of the day when you can be at your most receptive and your most focussed.
‘To do’ lists can be very helpful to keep us on track. However, if there is no sense of prioritisation included, you can find yourself working on things that maybe aren’t as important as others. Rather than making a list of tasks that need to be done, make a list with the most important at the top and ending with the least urgent. Making a list on a Friday afternoon ready for the weekend ahead will ensure that you start your working week with a clear list of objectives.
Master the art of saying ‘no’
Running a business is a challenging job and you may feel like you are constantly being pulled in all directions. Your opinion will be sought after by members of staff and your attention will be required across all sorts of day to day tasks. Don’t make the mistake of spreading yourself too thinly when you have more important tasks that you need to be concentrating on.
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