Effective time management is the backbone of every successful entrepreneur but, sadly , its a skill that many of us seem to lack. However, as our business grows and we get busier its easy to fall into the trap of reacting to emergency situations, dealing with customers who shout the loudest and,of course performing the jobs we like doing while putting off the ones we don't. Thats a recipe for disaster in any business. So, given that time management is so important, but seems to be so tricky to get right, here are some quick tips that I have developed over the years that work for me. Hopefully you wil find the useful.
One of the biggest obstacles with time management is not necessarily that you can't manage your time, it's that you're not setting your weekly priorities.
If you don't know what you want or need to accomplish for the week, it's difficult to sit down and actually do the work. By setting your weekly priorities and then breaking them down into daily priorities, you can get a lot more done and learn to manage your time better.
You can start with 3 priority lists:
Top Priority: These are things that must be done.
Medium Priority: Should be done, but not as important as top priorities.
Low Priority: Usually things that are necessary, but can be done when top and medium priorities are done.
First thing each morning, you need to decide what absolutely has to be done that day. Once you know what those things are get busy doing them. Turn off all distractions and concentrate on your priorities. When you get focused on certain tasks it usually doesn't take as long to do them as you think. Plus, if it's things you do on a regular basis you'll get much faster.
Once you get your top priority list done, you can focus on the medium priority tasks. You may want to take a short break to regroup and focus. Go take a short walk, have a cup of tea, coffee or your favorite beverage.
If you want to spend your break time checking email or social media, be sure to set a timer so you don't spend too long on it.
After your medium priorities are done you can start on your low priority items. These may not need as much focus as your other priorities so you can relax a little bit, but don't let that stop you from getting them done. Low priority tasks may be things you can outsource too. You will need to allow time to set that up and discuss the items with your virtual assistant. If you do outsource those things that will give you more time to really focus on your top and medium priorities.
If you work in this manner you'll train yourself to get things done and create more free time for yourself as you start mastering time management.
This article has been provided by Peter Shields who run BusinessPort Ltd – a leading firm of business consultants in Aberdeen and London.