Owning and managing a business can be tough; long hours, stressful and at times it can feel incredible lonely.
We understand that this is your baby – something you have built from scratch with your bare hands and sheer determination. We also know how rewarding it is to run a successful enterprise.
But to enjoy the rewards you need to have balance. It is crucial that you take the time out to spend with family and do the things you enjoy.
“How?” you may ask when your to do list is ever-growing and there doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day?
The answer is time management. Regardless of how good you think you are or how many courses you have done over the years, time management is something that we could all improve and benefit from.
In the big picture of time management you have the three key things you need to apply – eliminate, automate and delegate. For each task or project you’re working on you should ask these three questions:
- Is this something that needs to be done? Are there any ramifications of not doing it, and if not, then can you stop doing it?
- Can you make the task less time consuming through automation?
- Is there someone else in your business that could or should doing this task instead of you? If so, delegate!
This big picture of time management looks at reducing your workload so you focus on the important things. Look back over the last fortnight and take stock of everything you have done and then see if you can eliminate, automate or delegate any tasks immediately.
On a day-to-day basis there are also several ways you can maximise your time and your productive output.
Key to time management is planning your day. At the start of each day set out your success list. Any task that is a priority should have time dedicated to it as an appointment in your calendar. Be strict with yourself and make sure you keep those appointments.
Before you commence a phone call, task or meeting, take a few minutes to map out what success would look like and what you need to achieve. This will help solidify what you need to do and better manage your time. Once you’ve completed the call, review whether you were successful or not, and note any additional steps that need to be taken.
Do not to be always available for phone calls or emails. If you have locked out time to complete an important task then act as you would in a meeting. Shut down email, or turn off email notifications, switch the phone to voice mail and get what you need done completed. By focussing on one task at a time you will achieve more in less time.
And while schedules and to-do lists are all key to better time management, remember that they can be fluid. We can all benefit from a little bit of spontaneity every once in a while.