Learning time management skills is often one of the first steps in the business coaching process, especially for small business owners. This is because the more organized, productive and efficient you are, the more organized, productive and efficient your business will be.
Time management has a direct correlation with personal productivity. It is about how well you manage yourself in relation to time.
In other words, how well you utilize the time you have or how productively you use it.
People with good personal time management skills, plan their time
and use it effectively. This is critical for business owners and it has a substantial knock-on effect on the business.
The sooner you get to grips with time management, the sooner your business will be able to benefit from:
When you apply more discipline to the way you operate you will accomplish more, produce much better quality work, have the mental space to be more creative and you will have a better work/life balance.
'Wizz-bang' technological tools, apps and programs only work if the person using them has self-discipline. So, no matter what tools you use good time management requires common sense, self discipline and a change in habits.
Learning time management skills means going back to basics first and learning to be organized and disciplined in the way you operate.
Here are some tips to get started:
1. Stop deluding yourself
There is a big difference between being busy and being productive.
Many people delude themselves they are getting things done when in actual fact they spend their days chasing their tail and not achieving much.
Many people are addicted to 'being busy' but fail to acknowledge that they're not really very productive.
In order to make progress with learning time management skills, you firstly need to be honest about what you're really achieving.
Ask yourself: What did I achieve today that moved my business forward towards my goals?
2. Plan your time & prioritize
It may take time to plan but ultimately it results in much greater efficiency.
Before you dive into each day, spend 10-15 minutes deciding what you're going to do that day and what you're going to achieve that will move your business forward.
When you're running a business you can't do everything yourself.
We need to be really clear about what we spend our time and energy on because it's a valuable resource.
Instead of getting bogged down with enormous 'to-do' lists, get ruthless with prioritizing tasks.
3. Delete, delegate and outsource
Once you've prioritized what you need to spend your time and energy on it's time to determine what needs deleting, delegating or outsourcing.
Before you just go ahead and delegate everything that you've decided not to do yourself to your staff, seriously question whether each item on your list really needs doing at all.
It's highly likely that there are tasks that can be dropped altogether - if they are not essential to the business' goals and won't make you money, delete them off your list.
"Procrastination is something best put off until tomorrow" Gerald Vaughan
4. Stop procrastinating
Procrastination also comes down to a mindset, personal choice and discipline.
You can choose to sit on things or choose to get on and do them. Simple as that.
Until you stop procrastinating you don't realize just how much energy it wastes.
Think about the wider perspective. Do you want your business to have a reputation for procrastinating?
5. One thing at a time
Nobody can multitask effectively. Juggling lots of different tasks usually leads to scattered thinking which results in a lack of productivity and a poorer quality of work.
This is quite a common trap for small business owners to fall in to because there are so many different aspects to a business that demand attention.
However, when you work in concentrated blocks of time with no distractions, you will find that you're able to achieve much better quality of work in less time.
One of the keys to learning time management skills therefore involves learning to do tasks in a solid block of time rather than doing a bit here and there so that each task gets 100% of your attention.
Again, it takes discipline.
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