ByNovember 15, 2014
Time is one of the most valuable resources you have. When you make an effort to figure out how make more of every minute, you can find ways to get more done. Here are six business tips for managing your time better:
1. Shun Constant Connectivity
Our world is intertwined with mobile technology and other forms of constant connectivity. But University of Washington researchers have found a new movement called “pushback,” aimed at resisting “always on” behavior in order to be more engaged in person.
Set specific times to “clock out” of your day, whether to take a walk or simply to change your physical environment (and in turn, your perspective).
Likewise, set a time of day when you’re officially off the clock. Create a private email you share only with the co-workers, partners, and certain clients. This way you’re available in case of emergency, but you’re not forced to stay connected to your business email after hours.
2. Dumb Down Your Morning Routines
Make your morning routine as regular as possible to maximize your brain power. Eliminate making simple decisions, like what to wear and what to pack for lunch, to save mental energy for more important business decisions.
3. Stop Multitasking
Approach your workday with a plan, assigning a certain amount of time for each task. You can always shelve it for later if you’re devoting too much of your day to it.
By devoting your attention to one task, you’ll lower the likelihood of mistakes due to distraction. You’ll end up saving time when you don’t have to go back and correct mistakes.
Set specific times in your schedule for communications, and set expectations. Include information in your auto-responder and voicemail on when people can expect a response. And at the start of each phone call, be clear about how much time you have for it.
4. Know What You Don’t Do Well
Doing most of the business tasks yourself keeps costs low, but is it best for your business? When you’re doing things that can be done better by someone else, you have less time to spend on things only you can do.
Figure out where outsourcing or delegating (even if it costs more money) could improve quality and efficiency. Spend more time doing what you do best.
5. Automate Administrative Duties
Inputting financial data, running sales reports, and issuing invoices are all must-dos. But you can do all of them with software tools created to help small businesses.
For example, take QuickBooks. You can establish routines for inputting transactions, share real-time access to the software with others, and automate sales reports and similar data.
6. Minimize Your Workspace
You don’t have to be a Lean Six Sigma expert to adopt some of its practices, which are largely based on eliminating process-oriented waste associated with clutter. Remove non-essential items from your office that you don’t use frequently. “Red tag” items you are holding onto just in case you’ll need them, and keep them in a centralized location that isn’t part of your workspace.