Time management is something that everyone struggles with from time to time in both their home and business life. But what is time management and how do we manage time effectively? In this blog post, I will share with you some simple ways that can help you manage your time effectively, allowing you to be more productive.
What is time management?
Time management is the process of planning and exercising control of time spent on activities, to increase effectiveness, efficiency, and productivity.
What happens when we don’t manage our time well?
- workflow is poor;
- time is wasted;
- We feel like we are losing control;
- our work quality is poor;
- which can lead to poor business reputation.
What are the benefits of managing our time?
There are many benefits to managing our time. If we manage our time well, we become more efficient, more productive, and feel good about ourselves. These benefits include:
- Having more time – Being able to manage our time effectively allows you more time to spend doing the things you want to. In our business life, this could mean more time to follow up leads and sales so you can grow your business. In our personal lives, this could be spending more time with our families, working on hobbies, etc. People who manage their time well have a good work/life balance.
- Getting things done – People who are good at time management are more likely to stay on top of their workload and are regularly ticking things off their to-do list.
- Feeling less stressed – If we are able to manage our time well by creating task lists and completing these tasks, we feel less stressed and anxious.
How do we manage time effectively?
There are lots of tips out there that help with time management. Google ‘time management’ and lots of information is at the tip of your fingers. Essentially, though, the information is pretty much the same. We need to know the difference between what is urgent and what is not, and how to not waste time. A few tips that I think are essential to developing strong time management skills are:
Plan/organize your day
This seems pretty simple, but lots of people do struggle with planning. Think about everything that needs to be done and write a list. Be as clear as possible, and if you can, write when this task needs to be completed.
Think about your tasks and separate them into groups of importance. For example, you could group them like this:
- Important and urgent: These are tasks that need to be done straight away
- Important but not urgent: These are important tasks that do not need to be done immediately and can be done after the urgent tasks
- Not urgent: These are tasks that can be done later
Some people will also prefer to colour code each category, for example:
- Urgent – red
- Important but not urgent – yellow
- Not urgent – green
Alternatively, you could also use a numbering system, where 1 is the top priority, 2 is the next important task, etc.
If you can delegate a task to someone else, do it. You can delegate to other staff, or even outsource these tasks to someone else. Delegating tasks will save you time, which can be better used focusing on other parts of your business – like building sales.
Some examples of tasks that can be delegated include:
- accounts work
- social media tasks
- updating/creating websites
- general admin tasks
- data entry
- ordering of stock/stock control.
Organise your time
Set yourself a schedule by using your diary. Write down all the deadlines of your tasks; from there it is easier to block out time in your diary and work on certain tasks. Be sure to include time for tasks that need to happen at certain times of the day/week e.g. meetings, accounts work, sales, etc.
This is also helpful when scheduling time to work on specific areas of your business – Monday morning is accounts work, Wednesday you are following up sales leads, etc.
Always ensure you take a break when you are busy, even if it is just 10 mins to go into the kitchen, grab a coffee, etc. You will be more focused and motivated if you don’t push yourself and skip lunch.
How do we incorporate these tips into our everyday life as well as our work life?
The above suggestions can be easily used in our everyday life as well as our work life. This might be writing a to-do list for the next day or week, using a weekly planner to plan your family’s activities and events, or even meal plan – I do, and it not only saves me time in the kitchen umming and ahhing about what to cook, it saves me money as I only purchase the groceries I need each week according to my meal plan.
My kids love it too; since implementing a meal plan years ago, and having each of my children choose a meal that they want each week, I have no more fights at the dinner table and everyone eats and enjoys their dinner!
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