What would you do if you had more free hours in your day?
You’d probably have several ideas – other than working in your business. Things like preparing dinner for your family, walking your dog, a movie date with your loved ones or maybe just spend some quiet time by yourself.
Like most people you probably never have the luxury of this spare time.
Whenever the feeling of ‘not having enough time’ creeps in, you start thinking about how you could effectively squeeze in what you need to do in the time you have to do it. Sometimes we find our work lives are jam-packed, then we decide that something has to give.
NEED MORE TIME?
Do you still find yourself doing what other people could do? If you find yourself over-scheduled and trapped into doing tasks that are not contributing to your goals, then stop right now. Time management is often difficult, but if we understand our weaknesses in this area it will help us to devote our time to more productive tasks.
Here are some key points to consider:
- Value your time. Saying no to some requests will give you the capacity to say yes to more important things in your business and in your personal life. Be honest and polite, but be determined and explain your decision if necessary.
- Learn to delegate. Allocate more of the management tasks to your staff. After more than 30 years in business, one of the most common challenges I see among business owners is their tendency to struggle with ‘letting go’ of control. Delegation is a vital leadership skill and if we can’t master it, it will be difficult for us to move forward. Delegate tasks and you will be amazed how your staff will step up and contribute new ideas for running your practice.
Here’s a tip: If you still spend a lot of time on unproductive tasks that don’t generate value,it might be time to outsource some of your duties offshore.
- Focus. It can be difficult at times to stay focused on the big picture. Often we get so busy we lose sight of what we are trying to achieve and why we are in business in the first place. As someone once said, it is not which one you focus on, it is about focusing on one.
Consider developing a business functionality blueprint for your business to free up some of your time so you can get out there and do the things you want to do.
WHAT IS NOT WORTH MY TIME?
Once you have refocused your goals, it becomes easier to eliminate unnecessary tasks. Consider a target with the bulls-eye labelled Must Do. The next ring, Should Do and the outer ring Could Do.
Make a list of all the things you need to do and plot them on the target. Concentrate on the things in your Must Do list. Should Do and Could Do tasks are the tasks you could say no to or delegate to someone else. Freeing yourself from these tasks could give you more hours to develop new strategies for your business.
You could also evaluate the things that people request you to do using the Must-Should-Could tool. Where does it fit into your target? Is it more important than what you are currently working on now? Can someone else do the task?
With the frenzied schedule we have, it would be wise to focus our energy and attention on the tasks that matter most. By letting go and delegating more, you’ll be surprised how much more productive you can be. The bonus is that your stress levels will come down as your time management improves.