Time for a Lesson In Time Management: 5 Useful Tips

5 tips for better time management

If you’ve ever wished for more hours in a day… you are most definitely NOT alone.  The question is are you in spending your time wisely?

A recent study conducted by Microsoft found that its employees only used about 60% of their available work time.  Essentially meaning that out of a typical 5-day work week they were productive only THREE of those days!  This could easily translate to your own business.

So how should you make the most out of the time you DO have?

Here’s 5 tips to better time management that will in fact improve your productivity.

1. Resist the Urge to Multi-task 

Small business owners tend to be masters at spreading themselves too thin, taking on three to six roles on average.  I’m here to tell you to rethink that practice.  Multi-tasking can actually create MORE work for you!

Researchers estimate that by focusing on one thing at a time you will double your productivity and work performance.

Think about a computer, if you have 10, 15 even 20 different tabs open, you can often start to feel the computer’s speed start lagging – your brain is no different.

Try this:  Set a timer while working on a project.  When time’s up, move on to the next item on your agenda!  This will help to keep you focused on the task at hand and make the most of your time.

2. Get Organized

I really don’t think there’s such a thing as organized chaos.  If you can’t find anything in your work space than it’s not a functioning work space, period.

By being unorganized you could be wasting unnecessary time looking for things again and again!

Try this:  Eliminate everything that isn’t necessary.  Then create a system that makes sense for you!  If color-coded folders will catch your eye, use those to keep track of your clients or projects.  Set aside an extra 10-15 minutes at the end of the day to clean up your desk and organize files.  By doing a little bit each day, it becomes a much more manageable process.

3. Don’t Check Your Email

A few weeks ago we chatted about how unplugging yourself on occasion can do wonders for your business and own personal sanity.  The same goes for your time management.

Did you know that the average person checks their email every 5 to 10 minutes?  Talk about a waste of time!

Instead make your email work FOR YOU!  Set aside a couple times during the day to read and respond to emails.  Designated email times will ensure that messages won’t interrupt other tasks you’re working on.

Try this:  Set up an auto-responder that tells people you will respond to their message within a set period of time, a few hours for example or even a full day.  This will depend upon the industry you’re in, and by giving people an expectation on when they will hear from you will put their minds at ease and allow you more time to accomplish other important tasks.

4.  Get Things In Writing

Putting your thoughts on paper (or computer screen) will make goals and plans more tangible.  By writing down your plans for the day you have effectively put a schedule together.

This helps to prevent you from drifting aimlessly from one project to another throughout the day.

Try this:  Each night write down your top three goals and/or intentions you’d like to accomplish the next day.  Finish those tasks before moving on to any other projects and you’ll find yourself being more productive!  

If you haven’t requested your DAILY GPS PLANNER from me, be sure to enter your name and email address to the right and you’ll have it in minutes!

5.  Rely On Others

Delegate certain jobs to team members and employees.  This takes some responsibility off of your shoulders and helps to get all of your goals accomplished for the day.

Try this:  When delegating tasks, make sure that person is adequately trained for the specific job.  Hiring someone to be a “jack of all traits, master of none” will not serve you as a business  owner.   I am a firm believer in focusing on your strengths and hiring others for their strengths.  This is a great way to immediately increase productivity and efficiency and avoid wasting time.

According to my own experience, there’s just no silver bullet that can make you organized and efficient in a blink of an eye.  I’m always working on my time management skills because I know just how important it is. I like to consider myself a continual work-in-progress.  And I believe the best thing we can ask of ourselves each day is simply to bring the best version of ourselves.  So today I bring a better version of myself then yesterday and tomorrow, I’ll bring a better version then today.

How about you – what have you found to be helpful with managing your time best?  Be sure to share your insight with everyone in the comments below.

To Your Continued and Ever-Growing Success,

Dana

PS – If you are ready to add more strategic action, time management, FUN, accountability and SUCCESS to your day, contact me for your COMPLIMENTARY Strategy Call today.