Good time management is good for the owners and management of a business, but it’s actually good for everyone, and then it translates into a better bottom line.
We all know that setting a good example is the best way to lead The values and work ethic displayed by a company’s owners and senior management are what your employees do. It becomes your company culture and so it has a direct influence on atmosphere, teamwork, productivity and ultimately on the business’s profitability.
Do what only you can do (the rest should be done by your team)
How you use your time will affect your efficiency and effectiveness and that of the business, so business owners should continuously work on developing, or improving, their own time management skills.
Time management is one of the most important skills to have, but it is often a concept that many businesses, and people, struggle with. Small businesses, in particular, cannot afford to waste time with bad time management and inefficiency. However, the benefits of good time management practices are immeasurable. Businesses that utilize good time management are better positioned to consistently deliver their product, or service, on-time.
Good time management also means that a business is able to solve problems that arise without it significantly impacting day-to-day operations. This is essential for businesses that rely on constant output to increase ROI – a planned, structured schedule provides extra time for problem-solving or unforeseen circumstances.
Business owners can, and should, cultivate a workplace that values time management. Here are some tips for business owners to improve time management in the workplace.
- Prioritise into your calendar – Prioritising each item on your to-do list will help you stay focused on hitting your day-to-day, and overall, goals. Ask yourself, “What’s important, what’s urgent, what’s both? Rank each item by its importance – or deadline – and put it into your calendar, allocating time to each. Remember the “soft” items too – lunch, emails etc. Allocate them all a time period in your calendar.
Now start following your calendar, effectively working down the list. If anything unexpected comes up during the day, either add it to tomorrow’s list, or “bump” something less important from today’s events. This is massively important – don’t “just do it now.” Asess it’s importance and priority: Do you need to do it, or can someone else – see below. Does it really need to disrupt your train of thought, or can it wait until tomorrow. Most things can wait, if you let the requester know.
You will feel better knowing that your day hasn’t got any longer, but everything is covered, and remember if it isn’t in your calendar – don’t do it! (but see above on adding what needs to be done and then get on with it, if you have to).
- Set SMARTER Goals – The M is for measurable and is essential for both business owners, and employees. Establishing clear-cut goals will help you measure the effectiveness of everyone’s contribution and timeliness of progress being made towards that goal.
- Think beyond today: As a company, you should be asking questions like “Where do we want to be next year, at this time? Again, put time in your calendar to think these through. (These might be the “bumpable” items that you shift for a high priority need). How much revenue do we need to make next month to stay on track?” The answers to your questions should form SAMRTER goals that you communicate to your employees at regular team meetings. Good time management means that you are productive with your time because your productivity is focused on achieving your company’s goals.
Planning ahead today saves you time, and unnecessary stress, today, tomorrow and beyond. Once you have established your goals, you can also start working on a feasible timeline to reach them. An important part of planning is to be realistic about what you can achieve and how quickly you can work through that timeline. Remember – if you want to do it, it has to be in your calendar.
Don’t fall into the trap of being overly-ambitious with every deadline – although time is money, ensuring that you have enough time to deliver a high-quality product, or service, should always be a top priority. A failure to meet deadlines is bad for cash-flow, bad for promises made to customers and discouraging to your staff, so then they so down and it all gets worse. Instead, encourage your employees to follow your example on time management, and make sure the they set reasonable goals and communicate back to you what they need to be able to meet or exceed them.
- Know When and how to Delegate –
Do what only you can do. As a business owner, you are probably capable of doing pretty much everything that there is to be done. Make sure then, that you do what you should be doing – the things that only you can do. For all of the rest, delegate effectively, either internally to your staff or to an outside company “that can”. Do NOT abdicate, but encourage others to help, encourage them to shine because they have taken on more responsibility, and if they need a bit of help to accomplish it – give it to them. It does mean that the 1st time will take longer than you doing it, but from then on, the job is being done well by someone else.
Let me know if any of these ideas are helpful.