Why don’t I have any time?

We are all time-poor in business, right? Administration functions for government, such as tax, super, workers’ compensation insurance and many more, make business life challenging. Then there is looking after customers and staff, while trying to grow your business at the same time. Throw in family responsibilities, health and fitness, and your ‘time bank account’ is generally overdrawn.

Managing time is not just about finding relaxation space; it’s about getting jobs done efficiently, raising your own productivity and reducing mistakes and costly mishaps. It makes your business look more professional and it creates more certainty in the workplace, which will also please staff. Better time-management, according to business thought leader Michael Gerber’s E-Myth, should mean that you find more time to work on your business rather than in it.

By creating more time, you wind up with more hours to network, follow-up people, anticipate customer needs, spend time training and developing your team, and to work on business development.

 

So how do you create a better time management system?

You could start by looking at how you currently spend your time. Keep a log and maybe record what you do over the course of a week or two, or even a month. Note how much time you actually spend on each particular task.

At the end of that time period, review how you’ve spent your time and identify in which areas you think you are wasting time, or how that time could be better spent. Better time managers will spend time actually planning their day or week. Fifteen minutes at the start of the day planning what you are going to do is not a cost; it’s an investment.

You could also prepare a list of responsibilities or tasks that you have within your role. Once this has been prepared, highlight those tasks you believe someone else could do, or better still, highlight those tasks you don’t enjoy doing yourself.

Once you’ve done that, consider how these tasks could be delegated. Entrust your employees and properly explain each task. You may be required to give training and development in some of those areas, but that in itself can be for the betterment of your employee and, ultimately, yourself.

 

Am I making good use of my time?

Those who seem to be better organised with their time set aside certain periods of the day where they will undertake specific tasks. This could include reviewing incoming email, blocking out a set time where you return phone calls or answer emails, and mostimportantly, setting out a period where you will only focus on those matters that are of a development or strategic nature to the business.

Another tip is to not put off dealing with an issue that needs to be dealt with. If you continually find yourself putting off a particular task, it’s likely that you don’t want to do it. This is an ideal opportunity to delegate to somebody else, or simply decide that the task is not important and perhaps irrelevant.

Don’t confuse this tip with avoiding a difficult but important task that is your responsibility.

For the messy types, it’s important to fix up bad habits if you want to work effectively. Experts argue that a confused, chaotic desk ultimately reflects on your business. Even the creative types must be organised and reliable to make life easy for customers and staff.

You need to make time to tackle the problem. So to get yourself better organised and clearly define what tasks you wish to undertake and plan your day or week, accept that it does take additional time. Think of this time as an investment in better productivity for the longer term.

You can also explore what technology is available to assist with more effective time-management, such as having set tasks or a ‘To Do’ list on your computer as a constant reminder of what needs to be done. Maybe block-out time in your computer diary and don’t allow others to make appointments at those times where you need to focus on certain areas of the business.

There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to time management; it’s a personal choice. If you do invest some quality time in getting your personal and business act together it will not only save you time in the long run, it will save you money.

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