Even if you have only been in business for five minutes, you know that there are a million hats that need to be worn… and that’s just on Monday morning. If the words… “How do I get everything done?” have come out of your mouth, this article is for you.
Here are four simple tips to mastering the ‘time challenge’, to allow you to:
• Stay focused
• Work on what matters most
• Produce better results
• Reduce stress.
1. Record important thoughts and conversations
A fundamental skill when managing time is being able to maintain focus. One simple strategy for maintaining focus is keeping a record of thoughts and conversations. This ensures that you can now focus on what needs to be focused on, with a clear mind, rather than being consumed by the one million thoughts per day you have. Most of which unrelated to producing results.
A wise man once said “I use this for memory (referring to a note pad and pen) and this for thought and creativity (referring to his brain)”
2. Use efficient organisation tools
There are that many productivity apps in the marketplace, it’s almost now counter-productive. You can quite easily spend too much time researching what apps do what and how they could work. My favourite at the moment is Wunderlist. This is a simple app to keep things together in one place. Tasks, projects, stock lists, shopping lists, etc. It’s cloud based, and allows you to access the data from multiple devices and by multiple people.
• Share lists with team players that get updated in real time when you update them. This means you could set tasks for them for the day that will be on their phone straight away.
• Set due dates and reminders so you never forget anything.
• Share tasks via email for other people to complete.
• Print tasks lists.
• Allow your managers and employees access to the list. For example you could have a “stock order list” than can be updated from site or the supply shop in real time, to save multiple trips. It can also be used as a brain dumping tool as mentioned in point one.
3. Learn to be an effective delegator
One of the biggest obstacles business owners face is learning when to reach out for help from employees with certain projects when they become too much to handle.
It’s important to know when you’re working on tasks that could be given to a team member to allow you more time to handle more high-touch projects. That being said, you should also properly train and instruct your team on how to complete these delegated tasks.
When projects aren’t done sufficiently, this could cause major setbacks that effective training could have prevented.
4. Avoid multi-tasking
Many business owners believe that multi-tasking will allow them to get more done throughout the day. Here’s something to consider however, research published in Psychonomic Bulletin and Review showed that only 2.5 per cent of people are able to successfully multi-task, as one activity tends to be done poorly.
Many time management experts suggest focusing on one task at a time to reduce the chances that one project will have to be redone.
As the old Chinese proverb goes, “the man who chases two rabbits catches neither.”