Tips on Effective Time Management in Your Business

Tips on Effective Time Management in Your Business

With a small business, poor management of time will prevent a business from reaching its full potential.

Many demands are made on you because you are totally responsible for operating your business.

The workday can be long, tiring and frustrating due to poor planning and people controlling your time and work.

Time is wasted doing things that should be done in a few moments or not at all.

All of us have the same amount of time and the challenge is using your resources effectively.

Here are some suggestions on using your time more effectively so your business will achieve optimum performance.

  • Avoid crises like no fire fighting
  • Gain a feeling of accomplishment
  • Do the things that benefit you and your business
  • Enjoy your life and do only things that matter.

Where Do You Start?
 Time Management

The best place to start managing time better is with yourself!

Work on managing your time and not let time manage you.

When you face the fact that you may be the cause of some of your time problems then you are ready to change your habits.

Where Does Your Time Go?

Time management problems often stem from poor work habits.

You need to analyze how you spend your time.

It’s a good idea to keep a log for several days.

You should list your activities and how much time you spend on them.

After three or four days then look at these activities and ask yourself…

What major activities or events cause me to use my time ineffectively?

Which tasks can be performed only by me, and which activities can be delegated, better controlled or eliminated?

After this exercise, you may be able to pinpoint your own time wasters.

Here Are Some Big Time Wasters
time wasters

External Time Wasters

  • Telephone interruptions
  • Meetings
  • Visitors
  • Socializing
  • Lack of information
  • Excessive paperwork
  • Communication breakdown
  • Lack of policies and procedures
  • Lack of competent personnel
  • Red tape

Internal Time Wasters

  • Procrastination
  • Failure to delegate
  • Unclear objectives
  • Failure to set priorities
  • Crisis management
  • Failure to plan
  • Poor scheduling
  • Lack of self-discipline
  • Attempting to do too much at once
  • Lack of relevant skills

How Should You Direct Your Time?

By using goals, of course.

If you specify your destination before you begin then you will make the best use of your time.

Being specific is no more than setting goals.

Without goals you become sidetracked easily and waste time.

Set Your Goals and List your Priorities

Determine what you really want to accomplish.

This requires setting long-term goals and allocating specific blocks of time to each.

Goals should be put in writing and reviewed frequently.

A goal that is not in writing is just a dream.

To make these goals operational…

You need to make a daily “to-do” list.

Each workday should begin with a plan of tasks and the priority of each task.

When budgeting your time…

Then allocate part of each day to tasks that will lead to accomplishment of your goals.

Which means, block out part of your day or week for major projects to ensure that you have time to do the important things.

Remember the 80/20 rule.

This rules states that 80 percent of all that happens at work is really the result of 20 percent of your effort.

Such as, 80 percent of meals ordered in a restaurant come from 20 percent of the items on their menu.

Eighty percent of all telephone calls come from 20 percent of the callers.

With your goals…

You can be 80 percent effective by achieving 20 percent of your goals.

If you have a daily to-do list of 10 items…

Then you basically can expect to be 80 percent effective by successfully completing only the two most important items on your list.

To be effective…

You must concentrate on the most important items first.

You must proceed through the day from the most important to the least important items.

Make this a daily habit and you will find that you will complete your tasks as well as your goals.

Making Your To-Do List
To Do List

The Principles of Scheduling

  • Block time and Reserve a block of time that cannot be interrupted and use this time to accomplish tasks that need your attention.
  • Use the power of habit to accomplish tasks in your to-do list.
  • Force yourself to stay with an activity until it is completed.
  • Identify and use prime time, both internal and external.
  • Don’t schedule heavy-thinking projects from 8 to 10 a.m. if you are an afternoon person. Do not schedule all of your time. This unscheduled time will help in case of emergencies.
  • Bring big projects into manageable bites. Such as, plan only to do sit-down projects and make a list of all your potential business contacts. Another day put together an address and telephone list. Then plan to call three to four persons a day.
  • People tend to schedule the urgent but not the important. Include time for planning, preparation, thinking, socializing, recreation and travel.
  • Include activities that relate to your long term goals. These may be family, personal or spiritual goals. These may be important to your health or your relationship with family and non-business friends.

How Can You Make Better Use of Your Time?

Break old habits and make new ones by:

  • Setting up a routine that contrasts with your old way of doing things.
  • Not allowing an exception to occur until the new habit is firmly established.
  • Take time to start changing old habits now and don’t procrastinate!

10 Good Time Management Habits

  • Consolidate similar tasks and group similar jobs then do them concurrently. This will eliminate a lot of sporadic behavior.
  • Tackle tough jobs first and quit doing petty tasks then tackle the big jobs first. Remember the 80/20 rule. You will find you will be able to finish big jobs without stress.
  • Delegate and develop others. Remember delegation is not a dumping ceremony. Break the “Do-It-Yourself” habit and let others learn to share responsibility in operating the business. You will find you have more time for major tasks.
  • Learn to use idle time. Especially when there seems to be down time, read a book, write a memo or plan what needs to be done in the business. Get control of the paper flow and handle each piece of paper only once. Then throw out junk and don’t pick up a piece of paper unless you plan to use it.
  • Avoid the cluttered desk syndrome and clear your desk. This helps you to think clearly, locate papers easier and keep your mind on the task at hand.
  • Get started immediately on important tasks. No matter how much you hate doing that task, just do it. Remember that you must change old habits. Try rewarding yourself at the end of the day. This will motivate self-discipline.
  • Reduce meeting time and ask yourself if a meeting is necessary. Will a phone call do just as well? If a meeting is a must then try a stand-up one. This will guarantee that the important issues be addressed. Take time to plan without it. How will you know what needs to be accomplished for a day, week, month or several years?
  • Learn to say no. This requires practice but the more you say it, the less guilty you will feel and the more jobs you are committed to. Your ability to manage time effectively could separate you from unsuccessful business people. Unless you manage your time then you will be unable to manage anything else.

Don’t get discouraged…
Don’t get discouraged

It may take years to become proficient at managing time.

The point is that the little positive changes you make on a daily basis will prove beneficial.

Then a year from now your stress level has diminished and you are enjoying owning and operating your business.

My next blog will be on Time Management Quotes

Read my latest blog on Using Time Management Strategies

A good blog to read from US News: 30 Smart Time Management Tips and Tricks

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About Maria Barina

Maria Barina is a mother and grandmother who worked for the NYC Board of Education as Laboratory Specialist Bio/GS for 26yrs till the age of 56. Her husband, after 37 of marriage, passed away from Lung Cancer. She came to myEmpirePRO to seek guidance on how to get freedom that an online business can provide. Freedom to her is being able to do what she wants, when she wants to and to show others they can do the same to. Since she done that she is able to do this by working anywhere she goes and became a mobile-prenuer

2 thoughts on “Tips on Effective Time Management in Your Business

  1. Pingback: 55 Useful Time Management Quotes | Maria Barina Live

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