Every business owner knows that if you can become better at managing your time, and encourage your teams to do the same, you’ll be more productive and effective as a result.
Think about how many hours, or even minutes of real concentrated, actual work you do in any given day? Where you are focused on the task at hand, where you are completely immersed and making progress with your tasks? It’s probably a lot less than you think. If you translate that to all the people who work in your business, you’ll find that there is a lot of time wasted, and many hours that could be better used by putting in place smart time management strategies across the entire organization to help maximize the hours in your day.
To become better at managing your time, you need to gain control over your day. By paying attention to your calendar and planning your week, you can dominate your day, instead of the other way around.
So how can you do this?
Plan out your ideal week
The best way to start is by planning out what your ideal week would look like. Think about the essential tasks you have to get done, the reoccurring meetings and events that take place, and your goals and expectations for the week. Then begin to schedule these in so you can start to see how it might be possible to achieve everything you want to achieve. Remember, it’s essential to be realistic here. Push yourself and your team, but if you try to fill up every minute of every day you’ll soon fall behind, and then everyone will start to feel demotivated.
Prioritize tasks in any given day
The best way to manage your time is by being able to prioritize effectively. A combination of being able to accurately judge how long any given task will take and understanding which tasks are the most important is what will help your business run smoothly and successfully. Group tasks together by working out whether they are critical. Next highlight which tasks are also important, but aren’t as pressing, such as time for strategizing and growing your business.
Block out personal time
It’s so easy to forget about personal time, but if you don’t block out time for personal tasks you’ll actually find it hard to stick to your schedule and are likely to fall behind. Everyone needs to be able to have private time during the day to have breaks away from their desks. Allowing for this will keep your workforce refreshed and ready to work much better when they need to refocus once more.
Give yourself some leeway
Good time management is also about being able to be flexible. You can’t always predict how long a task will take, and sometimes unforeseen factors will prevent you from getting to work on time, and meetings often run on. Ensuring you have factored in some leeway and flexibility will ensure that you always achieve what you’d hoped for in any given week.
Keep a day journal
Once you have set up your schedule, it’s then a good idea to spend a few days keeping a journal (and asking your team to do the same) of how your days actually pan out. This will help you gain a much clearer understanding of where the time goes, and what you need to factor in to ensure that your schedule is realistic going forward.
Review and adjust every week
Once you have done the above, you need to be able to review each week and adjust your plans, goals, and expectations on a weekly basis. Make sure you block out time at the end of a given week or the start of a new one to do this, and that everyone is on board with the tasks set before you begin.
By using the above as a basic outline for how to manage your time, and encouraging others in your team to do the same, you can ensure that you get a much better handle on where the hours in your day go, a clearer picture of what you can hope to achieve and therefore plan and manage goals and expectations accordingly. All of this will help you take control of your time, manage your team better, and become a more effective and successful businessperson as a result.
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