If there is one thing that we all want more of but can’t afford to buy, it’s time. Chances are that busy entrepreneurs wish that they had more time on their hands to complete those niggling tasks that have to be done, yet are time consuming. We often can’t even find the time to sit down, plan or organise our time as there is simply not enough time to do so (wow, that is a lot of “times”)!
Chances are that we have all read books, articles, listened to advice or even attending classes about how to manage our time effectively without much success. So how do we improve our time management skills and manage our time effectively? Here at Virtalent, we’ve come up with a few hints and tips to help you manage your time effectively!
1. Take Notice of the 80/20 Rule
One of the most important rules to take into account is the 80/20 rule for unmanageable workloads. 100% of tasks cannot be completed all of the time. We can’t work at full capacity 24/7 as it simply isn’t possible. It is better to have completed 80% of tasks well in one day, as opposed to doing all of the tasks (100%) to a poor standard. (Why not outsource that remaining 20% to a Virtual Assistant?)
2. Write a To-Do List
Take the first part of your day, the first 10 minutes once you have come into the office for example, to plan your schedule for the day. By having a set of organised tasks to carry out, you will find that you are able to get these tasks done in a much quicker time frame, without the stress of suddenly remembering that you forgot to complete something.
Why not divide your list into “musts”, “shoulds” and “coulds” to help you prioritise? Remember, urgent tasks are not necessarily the same as important tasks. Beware of time-draining activities which add little value to your long term goals (like email!).
3. Remove Distractions
Blocking out all types of distraction is crucial to time management. Log out of your personal Facebook and Twitter accounts to avoid the temptation of quickly scanning the news feeds there. Unless it is essential, don’t reply to your personal messages or call friends for a catch up. If you have vital work to complete that needs a quiet work space, don’t be afraid of putting a “Do not disturb!” sign on your door.
4. Factor in Interruptions
Don’t forget to factor in time for interruptions in your schedule. It’s inevitable that as soon as you’re sat down ready to start a task, the phone rings or there is a knock at the door. People can be keen to get hold of you when they know you’re in the office, so make sure that you manage your time by allowing for those unforeseen issues that can arise. Perhaps consider forcing these into a particular time block? Some of the most successful business owners and titans simply redirect all of their calls to voicemail at certain times of the day and only check their emails twice a day, once in the morning and once in the afternoon. Is there anything you could do to reduce the impact that being interrupted has on your productivity and state of mind?
5. Keep a Record
One of the most effective ways of managing your time effectively is by keeping a record of everything! Write on sticky notes, type up ideas on your laptop, put it into your phone or back up your information to a cloud-based service like Dropbox or Google Drive. When suddenly remembering a task that you need to complete before the end of the day, it’s very important that you make a note of it in order to make your time management more efficiently. Don’t try to keep it in your mind as, subconsciously, your mind will still be dedicating energy to that process just to make sure you don’t forget. Write it down and come back to it later.
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