“Time Management – the ability to manage your time more effectively and productively.”
Managing your time is very important when it comes to running a business. It is something that a lot of people don’t think about and can result in unnecessary stress hen things get on top of us. By managing your time effectively, you will become more organised and productive. Check out my tips below on how to manage your time more efficiently.
Urgent Important Matrix
The best piece of advice ever given to me was based on Eisenhower’s Urgent/Important Principle, whereby you use your time more effectively and not just efficiently.
This is something I still use myself when I have a lot of work on. I create a list of what I need to complete, including any deadlines and roughly how long I envision the task requires. I will then categorise them based on their urgency and importance.
Based on which quadrant the task fits into will then dictate on how soon they need to be completed:
- anything that is high in urgency and importance you do now
- something that is low in urgency but high in importance you would schedule time in to complete
- low in importance but high in urgency – is this something you can delegate, push back or outsource to get it done?
- anything low in urgency and importance you would question does it really need doing?
If someone has asks you to do something urgently, do you ever ask what the deadline is? People’s perception differs on what they class as being urgent, or how long asap is.
An ex-colleague of mine decided to ask her manager this one day. She was asked to do something “urgently” late on a Thursday afternoon. Normally she would have stayed late to get it done because it was “urgent”. However, she politely asked when he needed it back. His reply, not until Tuesday because he was out of the office for a long weekend!
Ways to Improve Productivity
Make a list
To do lists really do help to visualise what you need to complete and allows you the opportunity to organise your time more effectively.
Any task that needs to be completed should have a deadline set. If its not urgent or important enough to need a deadline then does it really need doing?
If you have started one task see it through to completion. Don’t get distracted and caught up in something else, even if it will only take you a few minutes as it will take your focus away.
If it is something that you can delegate then do it. Free up your time so you can focus on what is urgent and important.
Touch it once
If you receive an email, rather than reading it half a dozen times before you actually do anything with it – stop! The more time you waste going back and forth reviewing you could have completed something else. Either action it, file it, schedule time to complete or delete it! If it warrants a response sending a holding email that you will come back to them once you have reviewed.
Take a break!
If you are pushing yourself to get something done but your head isn’t in the game or your tired and distracted then stop. Take a break and come back to the task with a fresh perspective. You will find you are much more productive from even a short break.
If you would like to discuss ways I could help you and your business to free up some of your time and allow you to focus on what you do best, give me a call on 07538 715537 or drop me an email at email@example.com.