Five time management strategies for your business

Effective time management can make a difference if you are considering how to scale up your business operations. 

Even the most motivated employee only has a certain amount of hours in a day. Here are five methods you can consider to manage time more effectively in your business.

1. Your business goals and vision

Over time, we can sometimes lose track of the goals and vision for our business while we are caught up in the day-to-day work. Taking the time to reassess your business goals and vision and ensuring the work you do aligns with that can be a valuable way of clearing activities from your schedule and creating space to bring those goals to life.

2. The value of your work

Further to assessing your business goals and vision, it can be helpful to step back and analyse the work you are doing. Categorise it based on the value it generates to your business and establish what proportion of your time you spend on each of these activities. Ideally, you should be spending the bulk of your time on the activities that will generate the highest returns for your business but often as not, the bulk of your time may be spent on lower value administrative or compliance related tasks. While you may not always be able to stop doing lower value tasks, consider where you can outsource these by using technology, paying external providers or hiring new employees. You may also find there are faster processes for doing lower value activities which can add time back to your day.

3. Keep your technology and systems up to date

It may sound simple but using the latest upgrades on your software (including anti-virus), replacing dated equipment and keeping your databases up to date can make a big difference to your overall efficiency and time. Incorporate regular check-ups on technology and equipment so that you are ahead of time where you need to upgrade or need to train staff on updates.

4. Incorporate efficient team practices

Incorporate standards into your team that reinforce good time management. Simple requirements like a clear agenda for all meetings is one example. You could also incorporate short weekly catch ups with your team to discuss any challenges or blockers and actions to fix these. Some companies have also created standardised timings for internal meetings of 25 minutes instead of 30, 50 minutes instead of 1 hour. It can be surprising how restricting time slots can make meetings more concise and efficient. An added bonus of restricted time slots is ensuring meetings start on time because there is a gap to get to the next meeting.

5. Take advantage of personal time management hacks

Keep your focus fresh and on task for the time you have by making small changes. Test which ones work best for you. Some popular ones include:

  • blocking specific times to read emails and closing your inbox the rest of the time.
  • The Pomodoro technique where you block workload into 25 minute chunks with a 5 minute break1
  • using the Third space: a technique pioneered by Dr Adam Fraser where you use reflection, rest and a reset to help you transition between different tasks2

These points can be a great starting point for your business, but don’t forget to involve your employees. Your employees can often give you great insight into where processes can be improved or pain points you weren’t aware of. Not to mention, involving your employees in the research and strategies means everyone is more likely to stick to the agreed solutions for the long term benefit of your business.

1. https://www.forbes.com/sites/tjmccue/2019/06/30/the-pomodoro-technique-a-tomato-timer-that-could-save-your-back-and-brain/#13b6b5dd710f 
2. The Third space: using life’s little transitions to find balance and happiness by Adam Fraser, 2012


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