Aside from financial resources, time is the most important investment in your company. If you are an owner of a business, schedules can be tough – from meetings, conferences, client appointments and other partnership deals. Being a businessman is not a walk in the park. It requires both your time and your energy, not to mention, your mental ability. Especially if you are just starting your business, you need to device a scheme for which you can wisely manage your time. Time management means being organized and making sure that all priority tasks are being addressed.
In dealing with various businesses, here are some valuable tips which have helped a lot of fresh startups and companies survived their busy schedules.
There is no better way than planning your tasks ahead. Plan for better time management. But how do you do it? Never start your day without finishing your “To Do List” or your tasks for the day. Prioritize tasks and make sure to point out the tasks which can be done early in the day or later. If you have a business meeting with your partner or employee regarding a marketing strategy for your company which requires both of you to brainstorm, then evaluate which time of the day is your brain more keen and active to do some rigid thinking process. Planning also requires time. Do this everyday before proceeding to other tasks. As the week progress, assess how many hours you spend just by planning. With that information, you can schedule your tasks more accurately than at the start of the week. It usually takes much time to plan at the beginning of the work week. However, as you go through the week, your mind has already warmed up and planning can spend lesser time than at the first day. Knowing your maximum and minimum planning time will also help you schedule better.
According to studies, multitasking can reduce your efficiency and performance. Our brains are wired to focus only on one thing at a time. Thus, the more tasks you do simultaneously, the more you lose focus and the poorer your performance gets. It is also said that it lowers your Intelligent Quotient.
A study at the University of London found that participants who multitasked during cognitive tasks experienced IQ score declines that were similar to what they’d expect if they had smoked marijuana or stayed up all night. IQ drops of 15 points for multitasking men lowered their scores to the average range of an 8-year-old child. (source: Forbes)
As the business owner, you need to make intelligent decisions. How will be able to do this, considering the study results mentioned above? You may be effective (i.e. you have achieved the tasks) but you are never efficient. Effective is not always efficient. But efficient is always effective.
Instead, focus on one task at a time – that means you also finish them one at a time.
SCHEDULE FOR DISTRACTIONS
This does not mean that you would allow various distractions; try your best to reduce them. If you are creating a content for your website, assign an appropriate time and length of time which you will be doing this. For example, you scheduled to allot 25 minutes to do this, also set a schedule for distraction. After 25 minutes, schedule to go out for a walk, drink coffee, rest, etc. Also assign how many minutes you are going to do this. Stick to the schedule and also have a break…as scheduled.
If you have a lot on your plate for the day – client meetings, marketing events, conferences, etc. – schedule at least 30 minutes or as you choose to entertain distractions, such as business referrals, employee appointments, among others. Then make sure to also set a time, like 15-30 minutes, to do nothing and prepare for your next series of tasks and appointments.
FOCUS ON BEING PRODUCTIVE – NOT BUSY
When you are scheduling, do not think that the more tasks you wallow in for the day or the busier you are, the better your outputs become. No. Busy does not mean productive. Only include tasks which are attainable for the day. Do not be too impatient and include tasks which can be done during the rest of the days of the week. On a day’s To Do List, only include those which you think you can achieve and be productive. Do not allow yourself to be consumed on quantity rather than quality.
ALWAYS BRING A NOTEBOOK AND A PEN
As you go through activities during the day, it cannot be avoided that arrangements and appointments would come up for the following day or for the next days. Make sure to take note of these things, so you can carefully consider them on your next planning session by yourself. It is better to have a planner or an application in your mobile phone or tablet, which can provide you with a material on which you can write everything that has come up and needed to be done. Remember, as much as possible, stick to your To Do List for the day. If you suddenly realize you need to work on something, take this down. But do that one on the next scheduled day, if possible.
A number of people already know the techniques of properly managing one’s time, especially in running or starting a business. However, not everyone succeed because of one thing – DISCIPLINE. It all boils down to this word. You need to discipline yourself and follow these tips accordingly, if you want to succeed. Being productive and efficient in your business is the key to success, however, it requires proper time management. And time management requires discipline.