You know about time management but don’t use it. Here are four super tactics you’ve got to give a bash.
With any business that has survived the start-up phase and is entering a growth phase, the list of things to do just gets longer and longer, to the point that you either feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day to get tasks done, or you burn out.
Both of these scenarios are not conducive to a business owner trying to grow their business.
This is where time management comes in. Chances are you’ve heard and read plenty about how the world’s super-successful entrepreneurs manage their time, how to block your time, take more breaks, make lists, blah blah blah. It all starts to sound a bit generic after a while.
Here though, is a list of tricks that actually work so you firstly get the most important things done, you get more time in your day, and you get to enjoy your time out without the nagging feeling that there’s still too much to do.
Want to grow your business? Get started on these techniques, today.
Super tactic #1: Turn lists into super lists
You’ve heard of this technique everywhere and the truth is it’s everywhere because it works.
There are tricks to taking it from a basic list to a super list though. For a start, keeping lists need to be regimented and regularly used in order to be effective. It also has to be a system that works for you. Here’s the thing about effective list making though:Don’t make one list, but FOUR.
- My schedule – This is a day-by-day list for the entire year
- Things to do – This is organised by day, week, month and year, and prioritised as ‘A’, ‘B’, or ‘C’. If you have trouble deciding how important it is, try assign a monetary value to it.
- People to call – Also prioritise using ‘A’, ‘B’ or ‘C’
- Conference planner – This is a page designed to keep notes on what you want to talk about with people you interact with a lot. Keep it going in between meetings to your next session is more productive.
If this doesn’t work for you, try making a list of 10 things you need to do on a given day. Then give it to a partner to review. They are entitled to scratch off three things that don’t count as real tasks, forcing you to focus on the tasks that really matter.
Super tactic #2: Shrink meetings
Meetings are the bane of many a business owner’s existence. They take up too much time, can be difficult to manage, and there aren’t always productive outcomes.
If you’re heading a meeting, make sure only the most necessary people attend. Have an agenda and stick to it, and to keep things brief try standing meetings. If you have to attend a meeting, always have an escape strategy.
Super tactic #3: Block your time
Told you there was no escaping time blocking. And again, it’s because it works. What it requires though it discipline to stick to.
Most schedules only have appointments with other people locked in stone. What you need to do is create locked in stone appointments with yourself and your work booked way ahead in the schedule.
Work appointments to book with yourself include: Speaking engagements, coaching meetings, time blocks for self-learning, etc. To have as little unassigned time as possible, you need to book way in advance. What it does for you is keep high-importance tasks as priorities and prevent the demands of less important tasks taking preference.
Super tactic #4: Make ‘odd time’ work for you
Today is a mobile world and most work devices are portable. Use in between time to get things done. Instead of wasting time on YouTube watching a funny video, listen to an audiobook on a topic that is pertinent to your business or industry, update your calendar, or update your to-do lists.
Super tactic #5: Make time for breaks
There are two things that you have to do every day to keep your brain on top form all day.
First, don’t eat lunch at your desk. Your brain needs down time and eating at your desk means you’ll invariably work through your lunch break. Leave the office, go for a walk, do something different to refresh your brain. You’ll notice the difference in productivity afterward.
Second, the human brain can only concentrate for limited periods of time. If you have a task that requires your attention for several hours, schedule in short 10 to 15 minute breaks.
Go make some tea or coffee. Stand up and stretch. Watch ONE silly video on YouTube. The break will do your brain the world of good and help it get back into concentration mode quicker.