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As a business owners it often seems like the only way that you can accomplish everything you need to do in a single day is by controlling time itself.
Unfortunately, that simply isn’t possible. However, the next best thing is to make time work for you.
Therein lies the key to better time management and productivity for your business, but also for you as the business owner and your staff.
If you understand and accept the characteristics and constraints of time, you can figure out how to use them for your benefit.
See for yourself by trying any of the ten time management and productivity tips listed here below.
- Invest in an effective time and attendance system. First things first – being present and punctual is time management 101. Having an efficient and thorough attendance system for your business is crucial for achieving excellent results.
Although there are many factors to consider in choosing one, perhaps the most important question is this: Will it make managing my employees time more efficient?
If you get a time attendance system that manages payroll and PTO issues, allowing you to free up your hands for other tasks, then the answer is yes.
- Outsource your memory. With everything that you need to remember, it can be too easy to forget something. Keeping agendas and calendars is certainly recommended, but you might also want to try the app Remember the Milk. It reminds you what you need to do and when you need to do it.
Imagine how much better you can manage your time if you can devote your mind to the tasks at hand and let technology do the rest.
- Increase your focus. Obviously, freeing yourself up for your work is pointless if you’re not truly working. If you’re plagued by struggles with procrastination or a restless mind, try using the app Focus At Will. With the aid of neuroscience, it significantly increases your attention span.
- Keep in mind that real-life minutes don’t roll over. Are you on hold? Stuck in traffic? Commuting on the subway? Waiting for someone? Heating up your lunch? Use those minutes to do some quick task or make a little dent in a bigger one. The spare minutes may be few at any given instance, but they add up over time. Waste nothing.
- Cut down on the meetings. They’re notorious for being useless. Of course, sometimes meetings are necessary, but if you want to get more productivity out of your day, you have to realize when to send an email instead. A good rule of thumb is to ask yourself whether you’re looking for or expecting questions and feedback. If yes, have a meeting. If no, send an email.
- Anticipate and avoid interruptions. Despite your best efforts to hire and train the best employees you possibly can, there will still be some who will always want to ask you something. Expect it. Then you can beat it.
Delegate authority so that employees have to go through someone else before they can come to you. If they come to you anyway, make it clear that you’ll finish what you’re doing first.
Whenever possible, keep yourself physically separate from them. Still, have extra time set aside, just in case all else fails.
- Organize your goals. What’s your long-term goal? Write down what it is and when you intend to accomplish it. What do you need to do to make this long-term goal a reality? Write down sub-goals that will help you reach the long-term goal. Include goals for the sub-goals. Schedule everything.
- Visualize it. Keep lists, calendars, agendas, etc. around you at all times. Never let your goals out of your sight. Allow not just your time but your space to serve as constant motivation for you.
- Multitask with minimal effort. Apps like Evernote are versatile enough to be relevant to all aspects of your business. It can record your voice or presentations, save notes, images, and lists, and let you share important items with others. It’s the most efficient way to multitask and employ your time.
- Remember that it’s okay to sharpen the axe. What this means is that you need to prioritize self-care and preparation. You might want to keep chopping firewood, but if you don’t stop to sharpen the axe every so often, its dull blade will only make your work harder and longer.
Set aside some time before work to get organized (the app Mind42 can help with that). Take a moment to use apps like Rescue Time to find out what you should eliminate from your day.
Also, designate time every day to do something that relaxes and rejuvenates you. Maybe try the Pomodoro technique, a schedule of work periods and break periods meant to optimize our focus and productivity.