Tackling the Time ThievesTime management tips to help you work more effectively in your business
“The key is in not spending time,but in investing it” Stephen Covey, Author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
Questions to ask yourself Are you just being busy for sake of it or are you investing your time on whats important? Do you sometimes feel like time is slipping away? Do you find there are too many distractions and demands on your time? Do you procrastinate around difficult tasks that you dont like doing?
Clarity and focus are keyif you want to achieve your goals and get where you want to be
#1 Have a Vision Start off with your vision for the year Then set goals around vision and set out tasks and steps to achieve goals Set goals and tasks by month, week and day Have no more than 5 key tasks on daily action list Prioritise them so you focus on what’s importantHaving a vision keeps you focused on important stuff andreminds you of bigger picture of where you want to be
#2 Set Specific Time Limits Helps you stay focused when working on: Large project - break it down into chunks of time Social media - limit the amount of time you spend on it Do task for 25 mins to 1 hour maximum, take a break and go back to task or start something new Use kitchen timer or online app, eg FocusboosterappBy setting a time limit, keeps mind focused on gettingtask done and stops you getting bogged down on oneproject
#3 Stop Saying Yes You get people asking favours or requests for help on projects outside your remit Tempting to get involved especially if you need client work However you can get sidelined from own work and goals Be clear about your goals – can see if requests are aligned with them and makes it easier for you to say no if theyre not.Make people aware of the value of your time and whatsimportant to you.
#4 Don’t get stuck on SomeDay Isle An attractive looking place but not one you want to spend a lot of time on Here is an example: “Some day Ill follow up with people I met at that networking event” If you did follow up, you could find that someone has an opportunity for your business These are non urgent tasks that could make an impact if you did themDon’t get stuck on “Some day I’ll”. You could be losingout on significant opportunities.
#5 Schedule a Do It Day Schedule a day to go through non urgent projects Look at each project and do the 3 Ds: Do it, Delegate it or Ditch it. If you do it or delegate it, then you need the 4th D: Add a Deadline Deadlines give you a goal to work towards and keep you focusedMake yourself accountable by sharing goals anddeadlines publicly
#6 Manage Emails Biggest stress = keeping on top of inbox One way is to set up filters: they apply automatic actions to messages as they arrive in inbox Keeps inbox free from clutter Enables you to stay focused on those messages that require your action and attentionIf youre spending 1-2 hours a day managing emails,multiply this by your hourly rate = how much itscosting your business
#7 Build a Network Trying to do a task outside your remit will take you twice as long as someone who has specialised skills in that area So build a database of contacts you meet online and offline You will have a ready network of people to outsource work to that you don’t have skills to doThis gives you more time to focus on those tasksthat will move your business forward
Conclusion Remember time is money especially if running your own business If youre not working effectively, how much is it costing you? Spending too much time focused on doing wrong things can have serious financial impact on business Have a specific plan and implement some time-saving measures = benefit financially from working more productively You have more time to focus on tasks that will move you towards your goals
Download a copy of our guide How to Organise Your Workload So There’s More Time for You Find out how you can: Stay focused on important projects Set specific goals so you know where you’re going Leverage your time and get more done Plus the top 10 time management tools Go to the link to download the guide now http://www.smartva.co.uk/organise-workload-download-page/