Being a business owner, you have two very precious commodities. Time and Money. You can always make/borrow more money. But you cannot get your time back. One of the biggest killers of small businesses is poor time management. Everything you do in your business must be to grow your business, sell your product or service, adding value to your customers. If you are busy emptying out the trash and cleaning your office during operating hours-you are wasting your time, money and a very precious commodity.
There are many different time management techniques available for you to use. Just find one that works the best for you. It could be a filo-fax, desk calendar, Google calendar, anything. Just use a calendar religiously to keep you on task and to move your business forward. Everything needs to go in your calendar. Block out time for calls, then make sure you have your call list (name, title, phone number, why you are calling and what you want to get out of the call) ready to go. Make these lists in your non-operating hours. Maybe after the business closes or on the weekend. Don’t waste time creating your call list when you should be dialing and smiling.
Here is a simple time management assessment to see how well you are using your time. Put a score after each statement, then you will add them up at the end. Scoring: 1=Not like me at all, 2=Not like me, 3=Neither like me or not, 4=Like me, and 5=Very much like me. Be honest with your scoring.
- I hardly ever make a commitment for a deadline I can’t keep: __
- I generally answer emails and return phone calls right away: __
- Once I have the information I need, I usually make decisions quickly: __
- I am generally able to fit an unscheduled “urgent” action item into my day: __
- I usually feel satisfied with what I’ve accomplished at the end of the week: __
- I seldom find myself running out of time when trying to complete a task: __
- I generally like to focus on one thing at a time: __
- I rarely procrastinate over “not fun” tasks. The sooner the tasks get done, the better: __
- I often don’t get jobs done for days, even if they require little effort to sit down and do them: _
- I frequently leave things for “tomorrow”: __
- When faced with a huge task, I chunk it down & figure out what to do 1st so I can get going: __
- I often have a task finished sooner than necessary: __
- I never have to waste time looking for things. I usually know where everything is: __
- When deadlines are getting close, I often waste time by doing other things: __
- I find it easy to say “No” to requests that are not my priorities: __
- 46 – 75 Congratulations! Your time management is fantastic!
- 31 – 45 Very good! But there is room for improvement.
- 15 – 30 Oh dear! The good news is that you can find a lot of time once you improve your time management skills.
Here are just a few ways you can be more efficient and STOP wasting time.
PRIORITIZING AND ORGANIZATION
- Take 30 minutes on Sunday to plan your week ahead
- Make a daily To-do-list
- Assign the time you will need to finish the task
- Start doing
- Identify the five most important things on your list and do them
- Spend the first 15 minutes of every morning looking over your to-do-list
- Set fixed times every day for uninterrupted work and communicate them
- If you can do the task it in less than 5 minutes do it RIGHT AWAY
- Organize your desk before you leave it for the night
- In the last 15 minutes of the day review you list and prepare for the next day.
- Stop multitasking! – Do one thing at a time!
- Work against time – You’ll get your work done faster
- Limit your phone calls to a max. of five minutes per call
- Take an hour every week to organize your paperwork
- Use your email inbox as a to-do-list. What’s done gets archived
- Limit the number of meetings that you attend
- Don’t think! START!
- Just take the first step
- Start with the task you least like doing first
- Make a decision. Any decision.
- If the task is overwhelming, break it down in mini tasks
- “Sorry. I can’t do this at the moment. I have other priorities”
- “Now is not a good time. I’m very busy right now”
- “I’d love to help you but...”
- “No sorry, I can’t...”
- Don’t accept any new tasks until you have everything under control
- Don’t run any errands
- Set fixed times for checking your emails
- Set fixed times for your social media activities
- Leave some time in your schedule or unexpected events
- Ask yourself every morning: “What is my most important task of today.”
Starting today, find a time management method that works for you and USE IT!
Follow the time management tips and use your time effectively and grow your business.
If you need help with your time management skills, then get with a Score Mentor today.