Author: Rochelle SanchiricoTime management is an often overlooked, but very valuable, skill to possess in a business setting. Developing the habit of following effective time management strategies and techniques can increase productivity, and potentially impact profitability for a small business. In fact, as a business owner or employee, properly managing your time at work can reduce stress levels and positively impact your overall quality of life outside of the office as well.
Create a To-Do List Avoid the temptation to try and remember everything you need to complete during the day, and instead, start by tracking your daily tasks either digitally, or on paper. Begin inputting your to do list as it comes to you, then organize the tasks by type and importance level to determine the order in which things should be completed. Next, create a digital reminder system to free up some valuable mental space for efficient action planning, which will allow you greater focus on the task at hand, time saved throughout the day, and less distractions and opportunities for becoming side-tracked.
Set Goals A common mistake that many business owners and entrepreneurs make is scheduling out their day in an optimistic, but at times, unrealistic way. To avoid falling into this trap, it’s important to state specific and well defined daily or weekly goals to ensure that the end target is realistic. Observe the present situation and assess which goals are of the highest importance, in order to determine the actions that will allow you to reach your goals in the designated amount of time.
Delegate Responsibilities For some, it can be difficult to delegate responsibilities to others. While it’s common for many business owners to feel responsible for completing certain tasks themselves, this can lead to larger problems, including a lot of time spent away from more important matters. It’s helpful to be able to delegate some tasks to competent and reliable employees, which allows for more time to complete higher-level work.
Plan to Take Breaks While it may seem counterintuitive, it’s important to take several short breaks throughout the day to increase productivity levels in the office. This time spent away from the work mentally allows you to return recharged and. Try working on larger tasks in shorter increments. For example, work for half an hour and take a five-minute break in between each 30-minute work session. Try combining this method with a time tracking system to determine whether this practice increases productivity for you.
Log Time Logging time is a fantastic way to discover, and ultimately eliminate, any wasted opportunities at work. To do this, choose a typical work week and track your day and what you’re doing every half hour for at least seven days. At the end of the work week, review the time log and spend some time going over the data. Here, you’ll be able to clearly see any periods of the day that could be used more productively. Next, categorize your use of time each day and compare it to your goals in order to determine efficiency levels throughout the week. You should also be able to tell at which point in the day you are able to complete the most work. Once this is determined, schedule the most important tasks to be completed during this time of the day. Continue this process for a day or two every few months to ensure that you’re remaining productive and reaching your previously defined goals. This exercise can also be implemented company-wide to help employees build their time management skills, leading to a more efficient work-place overall.
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