I have not yet come across a business owner that complains of having too much time in the day, in fact it is always the opposite! So today we’re going to concentrate on time management and our tips for helping out in this area.
For business owners it can be difficult to balance the day to day issues with time to work on the business. The first thing that you can use as a structure is to consider that which only you can do! This alongside key objectives and responsibilities for your team members will start to put into focus what should be on the list for the day.
So the next logical step is to delegate the tasks that others can help you with.
However to delegate well (and therefore not have it reappearing on your own desk) the following method needs to be followed:
- Agree what need to be done and who will take responsibility for it
- Answer any questions that the person taking over has
- Set a deadline for reporting back
- Take the time to run through any queries or to review
- Feedback on how it went and suggest any changes that might make it even better for next time
DO NOT DUMP FROM A GREAT HEIGHT AND RUN AND CALL IT DELEGATION!!!!
If you don’t have a team member that can cover a particular task you may want to consider if it should stay with you or if you need to get extra help in a certain area. It is amazing how many times I’ve heard business owners telling me that they clean the office or sit processing a vat return at 11pm.
Why do we do this when our time could be used for things that would be so much more valuable to our business?
Beware of time wasters:
- Telephone calls
- Unexpected visitors
All of the above can result in us having a busy day but not actually getting anything done that was on our list!
Now I agree that many of these things are part of everyday life but structure how you cover them. Perhaps you should be on do not disturb so that you can get a project finished before returning calls and answering emails. Ask people to come back at a specific time rather than just stopping what you’re in the middle of. Have a meeting agenda so that you cover what is needed and don’t get side tracked.
Be present – if you are only half listening you will have to go back and have the conversation again to get the detail. If you are spending the time doing something make sure that you focus on it. If you can’t then book it in at a time that can have your full attention.
Fire fighting – if an issue becomes persistent spend the time to find a proper solution rather than dealing with it in crisis every time it comes up.
Indecision – try to only touch things once. Either deal with it, book it into your calendar to be dealt with or decide that it needs to be delegated and pass it on. Don’t keep going back to the same pile of post or emails and reread them daily.
Try to get to finish what you are doing before the end of the day rather than starting the next day by going over it again to get it finished. I even have clients who write the next day’s to do list at the end of the previous day so that they get a head start.
I hope the tips are useful and result in you having some extra time to achieve some of your ambitions and spend more time doing something that you enjoy.