Here are some time management tips to help you achieve your goals while also being able to spend plenty of time on the front line of your business.
Certain time management tips can help you see increased productivity and efficiency. Some believe that the key to proper time management is to arrange activities and adopt certain practices so that you can accomplish more. However, optimal time management actually involves doing less by setting goals and staying focused on priorities. This helps you accomplish more of what’s important in less time. As a manager or business owner, you should be spending more time on the front lines with your customers and less time in the back office doing time-wasting, distracting tasks. Some simple, yet highly effective time management tips can help you master that skill set.
Focus on Setting Goals, Planning and Organizing
The one time management tip that virtually all experts cite is the need to set goals and prioritize. According to an article in the McKinsey Quarterly, you should identify no more than five things you want to accomplish for the year, then dedicate 95 percent of your time to those goals. This focus will help you decide which tasks are urgent and which are important. This mindset will allow you to spend more time on the front lines, which could lead to better customer engagement, higher revenue per customer and a higher customer retention rate.
Now that you’ve identified your five goals, in order to focus, you must take time to plan and organize. What steps should you take to achieve your goals? What should you do quarterly, monthly, weekly or daily? List and track these steps in a day planner, on your smartphone or on a wall calendar.
Manage Time-Wasting Tasks
Certain simple tasks can easily take up a big chunk of your workday without you even noticing. In order to cut down on these time-wasting activities, try to streamline processes as much as possible. For example, if possible, dedicate a certain time period to taking calls and responding to emails. This will help you focus on other tasks without being interrupted. By limiting distractions, you’ll be able to stay focused on your goals and better adhere to your daily and weekly plan. If you need additional motivation to apply these strategies, the University of Georgia recommends that you track your time in 15 minute increments for one to two weeks. Note how much time you spend on your goals and how much you spend completing unnecessary tasks. This will help you to better organize your day in order to spend more time on the front lines achieving your objectives.
A key time management strategy offered by New York University is to be flexible. Although you want to try to reduce interruptions and distractions, it’s more realistic to allow some time for this when planning your workday. In other words, understand that you’ll need to factor in time for issues or interruptions. If you schedule your day too tightly, you can end up adding even more stress to your workday.
By focusing on your goals for the year every day, it becomes a lot easier to off-load any duties that don’t help you achieve your objectives — you can do this through outsourcing, delegating, delaying or completely removing tasks. Periodically ask yourself, “Does this activity help me achieve my goal?” If the answer is no, not only will you immediately shift to a more important task, but you’ll also become more productive and efficient in general. This will allow you to spend more time on the front lines, and your business will take another step toward success.