Imagine if it were possible to buy an extra time, many people would be willing to spend a vast amount of fortune to get more time. Unfortunately, time cannot be bought and no one gets extra time, you can get extra money from a raise, a better job, a promotion that comes with bigger responsibilities and a fat paycheck. You could also get a great idea to start your own business yet not enough time. Knowing this, it is important to learn the skill of effective time management as this would allow you maximize your time to the fullest.
As a business owner, you can adopt the practice of effective time management by adopting certain habits, which puts you ahead of time. As a leader, you could teach your employees the same, with “All hands on deck”, it would no longer be business as usual, as the rewards of effectively managing your time would be evident. Learning how to effectively manage your time does not promise reduced work load or responsibilities as that would be false. It simply guarantees that you are one step ahead of time, and you won’t be caught unawares as you carry out your business activities.
6 Tips for effective time management:
1. Set “SMART” Goals:
Having an idea of the goal is simply not enough. If it’s just in your head and not clearly communicated, you can’t begin to comprehend the amount of time you would be wasting trying to explain it to your employees and clients. Your goals must be clearly written down and documented, they must be SMART goals. While setting smart goals it important you think long term as well as breaking them down into specific tasks. SMART is an acronym for specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely goals. You see where time comes in? Your goals must be time bound and properly documented; this is an essential time management factor.
2. Put First Things First:
You should prioritize the most important goal first. They are all essentially important; however you must choose the most important task first, simply prioritize. Trying to focus on too many things at a time is quite cumbersome and will only limit your productivity, not to mention, wasting your time. Contrary to popular opinion, multitasking is not a time saver but a time killer. The idea that you could accomplish more, by trying to do so many things at a time is simply an illusion. Learn to implement the power of focus, doing one important task and moving on to the next important. It will astonish you how much you would have accomplished in a given period of time.
3. Forecast and Plan Ahead:
Taking into consideration changing trends and new innovation allows you to plan ahead and take necessary steps in that light, it fortifies you against possible eventualities that may erupt and makes you prepared to face them. You might want to ask a few questions such as these, and provide the answers, what are the market trends in your industry? What is changing? What are people looking out for? This simply involves you predicting the future, surely there are clues provided already for you. Try not to ignore those clues; it puts you ahead especially when you begin to make adequate plant keep up with the market trends. Remember, your goal is to save time, making such plans will save you from future worries as you make early preparations in catching up with these trends.
4. Embrace Technology:
Don’t be too conformed to old and obsolete ways of doing things that you fail to realize that times are changing, and there are better, efficient ways you can achieve certain tasks without sweating much. With new emerging technologies, tasks that were manually done can be accomplished within a short period of time. It is important to embrace technology as a business owner, be innovative and seek easier ways in accomplishing task. Don’t try to do it, “The old fashioned way”. Get digital in your business, you can chose to do this or spend hours trying to achieve this with manual labor.
Know when to assign certain tasks, don’t try to do everything yourself. If you are just starting out, it is possible that you do not have the workforce needed, but with time you will see the need to add more hands. You might want to delegate tasks, especially to competent people, who are thorough and could deliver. You can also decide to employ the services of a remote worker. Either way is fine; just ensure you are delegating, supervising all the while saving time.
6. Avoid time wasters:
Taking inventory can be a tool to spotting these time wasters. If you know how you spend time, only then can you identify what is wasting your time. You might have everything in order but if you neglect those little things that distract you and inevitably waste your time, nothing you do will seem to work. Time wasters could be anything ranging from your phone calls to pop up emails and text messages. Ensure you are keeping to scheduled appointments. If you easily get distracted by your phone, you might want put it on a do not disturb mode especially when you are working. Phone distractions is usually one of the biggest time wasters every entrepreneur suffers. Discipline is mandatory to evade this.
Conclusion: The need for effective time management is critical to all business minded individuals who desire to be more productive, beat necessary deadlines, rise above their competition and make maximum impact in their industry. Nothing is as important as time, people who understand the true value of time know this and their daily habits correspond to their value for time. Money that has been lost can be acquired again but time lost is gone forever. For this reason, effective time management skill still remains a top skill for the man or woman who dearly values time and earnestly desires to be at the highest echelon in their various businesses.