Our most precious resource is time. How can we manage it better?
By Bob Weir, October 22, 2016
The most valuable and precious thing you have and can give to another person is your time. Yet many small business owners struggle to manage this precious resource. So consider this critical statement in managing your time.....
YOU HAVE TO MAKE CHOICES!!!
Successful time management is about prioritisation. The most important priorities are those that deliver on your goals and the purpose that your business is there to fulfil (the reason it exists). These priorities may not be those urgent tasks that swamp you every day. You need to consider both the short-term urgent priorities AND also the longer-term important priorities.
Once you have an idea of these priorities consider the following list. What resonates most for you?
- Devote time working ON the business. It is one of the most overused cliché’s for small business owners yet very few actually do it and it is critical.
- Personal wellbeing rules. If you have decided to include a few rules to improve your wellbeing, like exercise, time with family and friends, make them a high priority.
- Be decisive. It is better to make a decision based on the best available information you have than to wait until everything is clear and the opportunity is lost.
- Don’t procrastinate. Procrastinating chews up huge amounts of time, increases your stress, and will affect your business. Identify when you are doing it. If it is an unpleasant task that you are avoiding, then it will only be there tomorrow and be even less attractive!
- Avoid interruptions. If you need to get important tasks done without interruptions, then dedicate time to complete them away from the distractions.
- Avoid multi-tasking. We often hear people boast about being good multi-taskers. Avoid multi-tasking. There is no prize for doing a lot of tasks poorly rather than one task really well.
- Set deadlines and stick to them. Learn to set deadlines for tasks and then finish them. Sometimes simply finishing a task, irrespective of its impact, is a reward in itself.
- Manage your emails. Emails are one of the easiest methods of communicating in business but can be overwhelming. Take action on each email. Delete them if they add no value. Act on them immediately, whenever you can. Be brief. People don’t like long emails so no point writing long emails that won’t be read.
- Write things down. Some people have a gift in committing things to memory and then recalling them. Unfortunately most of us don’t, especially if we are experiencing overload. So write those important and urgent things down so you remember them. This could become your to-do list.
- Use a calendar or weekly planner. This is important for you and any members of your small team. Calendars can be easily shared so everyone can assess what everyone is doing.
- Be punctual and expect punctuality. If you are sloppy getting to appointments it will tell all those around you that time and discipline is not important to you.
- Social media. Differentiate what is important time being spent on Facebook or LinkedIn for the business versus the time spent on entertaining gossip – and, therefore, a waste of time.
- Network versus social catch-ups. Networking brings more customers or strengthens partnerships and is important. Likewise, a social catch up may be an important rule for your wellbeing. Know the difference and make sure your networking is helping your business, not wasting your time.
- Control the controllable. It is important to stay informed on what is happening in the outside world. However, don’t get hung up on external world issues that you cannot control or even influence.
- Build routine and habits. The more you get into habits like those above, the easier they will become. The routine and habits on the little things free you up for the important, innovative, and even fun things.
- Be responsible. Be disciplined. Once you commit to any or all of the above points, be responsible. and stick with them. If you consider the great performers in any field, it’s their attention to detail and discipline over the long term that helped them achieve their success.
Hope this triggers a few ideas!!!