Managing Time

Time is Precious

We all know time is precious… in our personal lives and our work lives.  Even more so when self employed and running your own business, as using time to maximise results is critical – time is money after all.  Often those who are self employed have more challenges than the employed. However I recently had a chat with someone who inferred I had the ‘luxury’ of time and can change client appointments, change delivery dates, change timing of when I do my workload as it’s my business.  If it were only that simple.  As business owners living in the real world we know that is not the case.

We all have those days when we get pulled in so many directions, have to do lists that are never ending and then curve balls come and get you.  It’s like the world is against us.  It unfortunately happens a lot.  But you are not alone.  This happens to all of us…. but some seem to cope better at it than others.  Why is that? 

It is back to fundamentals.  Knowing your vision, knowing your goals, action planning and clarity over deliverables and their timelines.  Some tips to help you achieve more in 2018 are:

  • Set goals and actions plans for each

    • Ensure these are aligned to your vision

    • Prioritise your action plans

    • Have clarity over deadlines for each action planned

    • Know which your critical actions are that impact the rest

    • Focus.If you find yourself doing things not aligned to your goals, to your vision, then question why you are doing it and don’t be scared to STOP.

    • Know what your time is worth towards different activities and spend time accordingly.For example, don’t drag out 10 minutes of admin over 30 minutes simply because you hate doing it – just get it done.

    • Allocate work to suit your personality – if you full of life in the morning – do your calls then so your energy comes across.

    • Make decisions – otherwise things will come to a halt.

  • Get organised

    • Develop systems and processes to make things more efficient – like customer enquiries, customer ordering, customer complaints, operations, delivery, financials, etc.Time spent creating a ‘cookie cutter’ process is time well spent in the long run.Do you have the right forms, pricing models etc so you are doing things from scratch each time?

    • Consider whether you are the best person to do things – can some things be outsourced?

    • Consider whether you need business help from a coach or consultant to help get things on track and efficient.

But with all the best intentions, plans and processes in place, we are all normal and get distractions.  So how do we best deal with them?  Some things that help me are:

  • Review the action plans for the following day the night before so I’m ready.

  • Check all emails first thing in case there are any urgent matters that need to be dealt with.

  • Don’t waste time on stuff that doesn’t matter.

  • Be ruthless on people asking for time – especially if it’s not chargeable.Do you need to travel – can it be done over the phone? Why do others expect you to flex your diary – can they flex theirs?

  • Don’t be afraid to say ‘NO’.That could be to potential clients, to events, to friends wanting to pop in for a coffee while you are working from home.Explain why you can’t do things and find a better option / solution that suits you both.

  • Keep to time – if your clients’ calls or meetings were scheduled for an hour then keep to the hour.After all you don’t want your clients to think you don’t value your time and have nothing else to do.

  • If a curve ball comes in then, consider this;

    • Act on it - if it is relevant and important.

    • Delegate it - if it is relevant but less important.

    • File it for later - if it is relevant but not immediately important.

    • Otherwise, bin it.

    • Update your wider actions accordingly.

Just remember, a moment only lasts a moment.  Time can only be spent once… so use it wisely to help you to achieve more.  If you would like to discuss this further or need help with time management then please email me dee.beckett@mosaicbusinessgrowth.co.uk

 

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