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Are you making the best use of the time you have available to you in your business? Do you know what you are spending your time doing each day? Are you wasting time? Are you spending your time on achieving your business goals and objectives? Are you managing your time efficiently and effectively?
Time is money to your business. Whether it is your time or someone else's time that you are paying for, it is important that the time is spent productively on actions that will achieve your business goals. There are only a limited number of hours in each day and you need to make the best use of that time. No one sets out to deliberately waste time. However, when you are very busy it is easy to be wasting time without realising it.
If you want to make better use of your time, here are some ideas to try:
Identify what your business goals and objectives are. Be clear about what you want to achieve in your business in the short, medium and long term.
Understand what your time costs you. If you can put a value to each hour of your time and that of your staff, you will see the importance of ensuring that you are not wasting time. This may be in terms of the hourly rate you can charge your clients or the gross cost per hour of your staff or on what revenue you could generate in an hour.
Decide what you should be spending your time doing to achieve you business goals and objectives. In order to achieve your business goals and objectives what should you be spending your time doing? Once you know where you should be spending your time you can start to review what is currently happening.
Review what you are spending your time doing. Make a list of what you spend your time doing and how long you spend on each task. You may want to consider this on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.
Look at where you may be time wasting. Review the list of what you are spending your time doing against what you should be doing and identify areas where you are potentially time wasting. This could be for a variety of reasons.
Review your business systems, procedures and processes. You may be spending time on inefficient systems, procedures and processes. It is easy to end up with inefficiencies, especially if your business is growing quickly. Review all your business systems, procedures and processes. You may find that some are not required any more, whilst you may be able to improve others to make you and your business more efficient.
Look at whether someone else could do the tasks that you are currently doing. You may be spending time on things you are not very good at, so you are taking much longer than an expert would take. Alternatively, you may be doing tasks that others could do for you to free up your time to focus on more important things. Once you have identified these areas look at who you could delegate or outsource this work to, whether an employee or an outside supplier and the cost of this compared with the potential benefits.
Use your time more efficiently. Look at when you do each task and when is the best time of day for you to do specific tasks. Doing similar tasks in blocks and aligning the tasks to how you feel at different times of the day/week may help you be more efficient. By organising your day better you will find you are more efficient.
Manage your time effectively. Once you have taken action to cut out time wasting, you then need to make sure you manage your time effectively. There are many different time management systems and each person has their preferred one. Whichever you choose it is very important to ensure that you set realistic times for each task, ensure that you are realistic about what you can achieve each day, ensure that you prioritise your tasks to achieve your business goals and objectives and also re-prioritise your tasks when things change or new tasks arise. This will help you to stay focused on your business goals and to keep you motivated.
Tackle procrastination. Procrastination may be the cause of your time wasting. For ideas on tackling procrastination please refer to the Procrastination article in our March 2007 newsletter.
There is more to life than work. You will be more effective at work if as well as the above you also look after your health and well being, don't work all the time, have some time off, enjoy time with your family and friends, relax, play a sport or have an interest.
Time wasting may be impacting you and your business.
Author: Liz Makin
Published: August 2007
Makin It Happen has a range of personal development online courses to purchase, created by Liz Makin, including communication, resilience, time management, stress management and coaching. Liz Makin also provides personalised business coaching, business mentoring and stress management services to business owners, directors, managers and professionals.
Please call Liz on 01780 765270 or email Liz@makinithappen.co.uk
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