If you’re overwhelmed with workload, it’s hard to know where to start to claw back the chaos and take back control of your business and your time. The secret is breaking things down into bite sized chunks and incorporating smart time management techniques into your daily practice.
Be disciplined. Be proactive. And follow these top 20 tips and techniques to gain clarity, time, money and control.
- Understand the difference between important tasks and urgent tasks. Important tasks will make a difference to the value of your business over time. Urgent tasks are related to an impending deadline.
- Spend 60% of your time working on tasks that are important not urgent. These are the tasks that build a great business.
- Analyse what needs to be done at the beginning of every day and week. Separate your list of tasks into one of the four D’s – Do it, Delegate it, Defer it or Dump it.
- Incorporate your tasks into your schedule or calendar
- Set yourself notifications within your phone or calendar that remind you a task is due to be commenced
- Smart business owners delegate right. Assign tasks to the right staff member to ensure they get done.
- When you are delegating, invest time in briefing the person you are delegating to thoroughly.
- Be disciplined. Practice self-management, schedule your tasks and treat them like an appointment that can’t be shifted. If you’re procrastinating, remind yourself that a delay in doing that task is a delay in having your long term goals. Do you really want to delay them?
- Set aside time blocks to work on larger projects that need more head space and focus.
- At the end of the day, prepare for your work day tomorrow by looking ahead at appointments, scheduling time blocks and creating a mental plan of attack.
- Clear your desk at the end of every day and keep it tidy. A clutter-free environment encourages a clutter-free mind.
- Break large tasks into smaller steps so you can monitor the progress you’re making.
- Use project management tools such as Basecamp, Trello, Smartsheet or even a simple excel spreadsheet to manage tasks and timelines.
- Allocate a time block once a day to unexpected things that come up. If you have already allowed for a contingency, it won’t impact on the rest of your day AND if you don’t use it, that’s bonus time for you to get ahead on other projects.
- Attack the toughest (or least liked) task first. If you feel yourself procrastinating, remember you just have to “win the 1 minute battle” – just start! Once you’re underway, you’re more likely to keep going. If you stick with it for about 7 minutes, you’ll be in flow.
- Step away from social media. Do not get sucked into the Facebook or LinkedIn void of time. Wasting 15 minutes every working day of the year adds up to 60 hours – 1 ½ working weeks! If it’s that important to you, use social media as a reward. You get to spend time on it when you have completed a task.
- Be realistic. You can’t do everything and remain healthy and sane.
- Time management is about making decisions, so set up a clear and effective decision making process for the team.
- Extract your tasks and knowledge from your brain and put them into processes, procedures and project plans. This is vital for taking control of the chaos in your mind. And it helps other people know what’s happening.
- Just start. People who say “I don’t have time to manage my time” will self-combust – professionally, personally and physically. It’s not worth your health and your business to continue on without some key time management principles in place.
Remember, your time is the only asset you have that can’t be replaced. Know what your time is worth, valuing it based on a good, productive hour spent building a great business. For anyone owning a business, your time is likely to be worth at least a few tens of thousands of dollars per hour if invested wisely.
With more clarity over where your business is headed, how you’re going to get there and a business owner and team that oozes productivity and efficiency, there will be nothing holding you back from building the business and lifestyle that you want.
If you are looking for some clarity around moving from chaos to control, why not book into out 6 Steps to Building a Better Business Workshop, it’s free and it might just save you some time!