We have all heard the saying “time is money”. However, there is a fundamental difference between time and money, which is that time is non-renewable. When you miss a sale, you can make up for it with another sale. If you miss a deadline or opportunity, you are out of luck.
Have you ever asked yourself, at the end of the day, where did all the time go? Or have you ever ended a work day without completing your work? These problems arise from ineffective time management.
Effective time management can provide an array of benefits for yourself and your stakeholders. Enhanced focus, improved organization, less stress and additional time for other tasks can all result from effective time management.
Optimizing the way you manage your time will enable you to accomplish more in less time. In turn, this will help to increase revenue and will give you more time to yourself. Being on top of your time will also help to avoid burnout and to give you peace of mind.
If you really want to make a change and increase your productivity, think about implementing the following time management strategies:
You must value other people’s time more than your own. This means never wasting other people’s time. Whether it be showing up on time or not overstaying your welcome, treat people the way you want to be treated. Ensure that you always ship on time and that you return your missed calls. In other words, keep your promises. Trust is imperative in any business, and trustworthy people do not waste other’s time.
- You should view time as an investment into your business. Similar to money, you must reserve time for spontaneous tasks. Anticipate the unanticipated. If you have no time to spare, you will be in hot water when the unexpected occurs.
- Small business owners must reserve time for customer service. Take the time to approach a customer and give them a reason to send a referral. Face-to-face time with customers is crucial, whether they are existing or potential. When you have these meetings make sure that you spend quality time and listen carefully to what your clients are saying.
- Small business owners need to acknowledge that they cannot do it all. Identify your capabilities, and stick to them. Focus on your specialities and outsource the rest. Owners should spend their time growing their business, not on time-consuming and non-revenue generating tasks. Whether it be a bookkeeping service or a management process, outsource what you cannot do in order to optimize your time and your operational success.
- Employees can help you focus on the things that matter. Hire someone trustworthy to update your marketing material, to make those deposits and to do that research you have been meaning to do. Identify the tasks that can be delegated and assign them to your employees.
- Small business owners must have excellent planning skills. Not everybody has the same process for this, but it is important to have one that works for you. Some people choose to view time in blocks, similar to a student timetable. This makes it much easier to allocate time toward specific tasks. This also avoids wasted time that comes with context switching.
- Avoid over-commitment. Over-commitment has a direct impact on time management. Networking is important, but it is necessary to overfill calendars to the point where events overlap? Just say no. Focus on quality relationships rather than a large number of superficial relationships.
To start, be honest with yourself and spend time reflecting on your current time management issues. If you are bad at managing your time, you need to take action. Do not blame your time management problems on your environment. This will not solve anything.
Then, review your calendar for the next month and get out of those commitments that you can live without. Start blocking time in your calendar in two to three-hour increments to focus on the things that matter. For those meetings that you still think you need to keep, commit to yourself to ending the meeting within the allotted time, or even try to complete the meetings in less time than you have set the meeting for.
As you start to see progress, make decisions about how best to utilize staff or freelancers to take on those tasks that no longer fit into your calendar. Commit to yourself that you will review your progress every week and make adjustments as you learn what works best for you.
We can help!
At Enkel, we understand the value in saving time and focusing on what really matters: growing your business. Contact us to learn how we can help you and your business save time and thrive! We are proud to work with small to medium-sized businesses in Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, and Toronto.