Time management is an essential skill for all people working on a schedule. For entrepreneurs, in particular, efficient management of time can be decisive for the success of their business.
All successful entrepreneurs can agree on one thing: time is the most important resource. You can’t take back time that has been lost. It so happens, that many businesses failed because of wasting time, even if we are speaking only minutes to not meeting a deadline.
Nowadays, it is even more difficult for entrepreneurs to juggle a bunch of tasks on their table and do so at the right time. Developing strategies, managing employees, and keeping customers happy are only a few of the things they worry about every day.
Success doesn’t depend on speed or hard work, but rather on a combination of both. This is what makes efficient task management the core of every successful business. Let’s help you master this skill with a few tricks and best practices.
1. Be an Early BirdManage your schedule in a synchronized way
The alarm rings for the third time already. You have no time for coffee, you look like hell, and by the time you get to the office, you feel more tired than after a whole day of managing tasks. Does this sound familiar?
If so, you know that these 30 minutes are more trouble than they are worth. Why not alter these habits, and come to the office earlier? We can’t all be morning birds, but we can do 15 minutes less. You will be surprised what these 15 minutes mean for a better prepared day in the office.
Not even to mention that people are, by nature, most productive in the morning. Keeping things in control gives us a sense of tranquility and more confidence, and we feel motivated to deal even with the most difficult tasks. The earlier you begin, the more time you will have to deal with any challenge.
2. Automate Everything You CanYou don’t have to do everything on your own to be sure it is done well. Technology has made it possible to be more efficient by working less, something every smart entrepreneur can confirm. There are many advantages to automation, so give them a try.
It is time to part ways with manual input or extraction of data. Many online platforms can take over these business operations. This way, you can devote both time and energy to tasks that require a human touch. Go online and look for an app suitable for your business.
A good example is a WordPress booking system or a service schedule software for your site that automates communication with clients. A virtual assistant will take over common questions and to-dos, and help you become more productive. Imagine cutting the time necessary to provide first-time visitors information. Doesn’t sound bad, does it?
3. Count on Steppingstones and InterruptionsB
In the business world, the best and worst changes happen ad hoc. You can’t predict private events that disrupt your working hours, or sudden cancelations by clients right before delivery. It doesn’t matter how you plan and schedule – there are still many external factors you can’t influence.
One thing you can do, however, is to keep your schedule organized. This will give you enough time for assessment and damage control and provide gaps in the schedule to deal with any unanticipated event. Test this strategy, and you will immediately have better results.
4. Adopt the Two-Minute RuleWe are all prone to procrastinating at work, and there is no way around it. For as long as we can think, our thoughts can take us places that have absolutely nothing to do with work. This, nevertheless, cannot justify delays and canceled meetings just because we had the time, but didn’t do the task.
To keep yourself and the team efficient, try out the two-minute rule. Choose a task you’ve been postponing for a while, such as answering an offer from a business partner and take two minutes to work on it. Before you know it, the task will be done.
Still, this is not a guarantee that you will finish everything on time. It will just help you stay on top of things and not let tasks slide through the cracks. Be it as it is, it is a good place to start managing time in a better way.
5. Delegate Assignments
As a leader of a team, you have enough on your plate as it is. This means that your focus is by default shared between growing a business and solving thousands of less relevant problems. This is why you need to learn how to delegate and do so immediately.
Being the boss does not mean being responsible for everything. You can assign people for less demanding tasks, or even hire newbies if this helps you stay concentrated. It is key here to choose the right people for the task, so get to know your team better.
6. Plan the ResultsTrue, this is easier said than done. Brainwork can be exhausting, and entrepreneurs often engage in purely mundane tasks to make things easier for them. A trick that helps stay focused on what matters is to anticipate the results of all actions.
Before you start working on a task, ask yourself what you expect from it and how it should turn out. And by expectations, we mean actual results and effects, rather than a clean desk. Do this a couple of times, and it will bring things back into perspective. You will be able to see which tasks are most beneficial and create the most value for your business.
7. Don't Forget: You are only HumanEven the biggest business leaders need to rest. A well-rested brain is a key to entrepreneurial success. If you rush from one task to the other and get little to no sleep, you are less productive than you think. A the end, you may even lose focus, become anxious and impatient, and end up completely unsatisfied with what you do.
Try to find the balance between work and rest. Other than sleeping, try out therapeutic activities that rest your brain. Take brief naps or short walks and balance your diet. This way, you will have enough energy to soldier through the day.
SummaryBeing a boss is awesome, but there is more behind the curtains than it seems. The most successful businessmen are also stressed and tired and invest precious amounts of their private time into work. The best way for them to reduce heavy lifting is to manage time more efficiently.
If you are one of them, test some of the suggested techniques. The results will be visible in no time.