Effective time management is a crucial element of success regardless of who you are or what you do. Nonetheless, far too few business executives appreciate time as one of the most important resources around, and very little is being done in the average business to make better use of everyone’s most limited asset.
Despite the heavy focus on profitability managing your time properly is by far the most important element of success in today’s market. Here are some strategies to make better use of your working hours:
1. Personalise your approach
Most people are familiar with the fact that time management is important, yet very few understand that you need a personalised approach to achieve any extra efficiency in your day. This is because everyone’s schedule is unique, no one else understands the importance of your time during particular periods of your schedule. However to appreciate that yourself, it’s important to start with an audit of your daily habits to see where you’re wasting the most time.
Only after you’ve thoroughly reviewed your daily schedule to see where you’re wasting time can you begin to make meaningful life adjustments. Smart time management experts often emphasise a consistent theme – brutal honesty when assessing something’s importance is a crucial part of time management.
It’s helpful to break down daily tasks and responsibilities into categories that are ranked by matter of importance. You may discover that you’re wasting time on insignificant tasks that can be delegated elsewhere. Furthermore, categorising your daily tasks in terms of their importance helps you focus on the most urgent and pressing of issues first.
Most time management philosophies revolve around good prioritisation; after all, if you can’t understand what needs to be done immediately verses what can be delayed, you’ll always be misapplying your time. Urgent matters that must be dealt with can be brushed under the carpet when no one is keeping track of forthcoming deadlines. So, consider maintaining a company wide list of your most important business priorities.
Make sure everyone in a leadership position understands how to prioritize properly.
Leaders should always be prepared to step in and help employees prioritise when they’re struggling with a huge workload. But make sure you’re not micromanaging their every move.
3. Don’t let time management become a stressor
Despite how important it is to closely manage your time, it’s also true that time management can become a serious stressor if you’re not doing it properly. In reality, all you need is an understandable schedule and a realistic list of priorities. For instance, effective time management that reaches into your personal life shouldn’t dictate your free time too much.
The important point here is that you need to leave yourself an unscheduled block of free time that can be used to do whatever you want – maybe it’s catching up on work, catching up with friends, or doing a household job you’ve been ignoring for too long.
4. Focus on what’s important
Perhaps the most key lesson you can learn when it comes to managing your time wisely is that not everything that’s urgent is important and vice versa. Sometimes you’ll need to take care of an issue immediately but will find it to be of trivial importance. Elsewhere you’ll encounter decisions of major importance to your company that can technically be put off for days, weeks, or even months. Learning to properly categorise your tasks and incoming projects so you’re more aware of what’s important verses what’s urgent is the final step to mastering time management.
"...very little is being done in the average business to make better use of everyone’s most limited asset.