Congratulations, everybody! We’ve almost reached the end of 2021. Let’s take a minute to look back over the past twelve months and recognize how much we’ve learned,
Time Management: How to boost Productivity & Schedule your Tasks
If there’s one thing all business owners can agree on, it’s how precious time is as a commodity— there’s never enough of it, for one. The average workday is unstructured, full of distractions and it often ends with “one more thing” that keeps you in the office long after you planned to leave.
And in the off chance you do find time to break away to work on your business, you probably can’t focus due to constant interruptions: answering phone calls, responding to emails, and putting out “fires” all the time. Being productive doesn’t mean you have to work 60+ hours a week and sacrifice your mental health just because you have a business. In fact, a study done by Harvard Business Review reveals that if you work more than 40 hours a week, productivity can reduce by 40%.
In other words, working for long hours has diminishing returns. Remember, more hours don’t necessarily mean your business will grow. Instead, we have to master the art of effective time management. And since time is of the essence, let’s dive right in and look at a few things you can do to manage your busy schedule!
1. Analyze your week
Look at everything you routinely do in the day including driving, running errands, homeschooling, studying, reviewing documents – and include the time when you will finish the day.
Having a clear idea of your downtime is just as important because no one can be effective if every minute of the day is busy. While it may take time up front to schedule your day, doing this will allow you to make the most of every hour of your day and make efficient use of your limited time.
2. Create weekly milestones
Break large goals down into smaller, weekly tasks. Use some reverse engineering to figure out how long a certain project will take. Then work backward from its due date. Once you know how much time you have, create weekly goals or tasks. By the end of each week, you’ll be closer to a finished product.
3. Use the Pomodoro technique
If you have a lot on your to-do list, try this time management method. Spend 25 minutes on a task. When the timer goes off, take a 5-minute break. Then continue with the previous task or start another one. That 5-minute break lets your brain reset itself so it can focus on the next task without needing to catch up.
4. The 80/20 rule of time management
In time management, the 80/20 rule (or the Pareto Principle) involves completing 80 per cent of tasks using 20 percent of the time you’ve got. This principle advocates delegating tasks that are just as time-consuming and less revenue building than others. This is so you can focus on high priority tasks which bring in more money to your business.
When prioritizing things to do, remember your energy levels and productivity tend to fluctuate during the day. For you to successfully achieve the 80/20 rule, you need to focus on completing essential tasks when you are most productive. For most people, it is early in the morning. You have to find out which part of the day you’re most productive before you can apply this rule.
5. Delegate tasks to others
If you manage a team, use them wisely. Chances are, you don’t need to be in every single meeting actually! Be aware of your own strengths and weaknesses as well as theirs, so you can assign tasks that take up too much of your time to someone who can do them faster.
Assigning the right people to the right jobs is key to employee productivity. If you work alone, consider hiring a freelancer or partnering with someone who could help lighten your workload and bring new skills to the table.
6. Use technology to boost your productivity
Automating routine tasks will do wonders for your work life. And we mean both technology that helps your business, and productivity apps that help you manage your schedule. For example, in your business, using chatbots to answer customer service queries, or employing software to handle bookings and sales, is a great time-saver for busy humans.
On the other hand, apps like nTasks or Harvest will help you keep track of your daily tasks and your team. Harvest, for example, allows you to schedule your projects and track the time on completion but also offers many other valuable features. And since we mentioned the Pomodoro technique, Focus Booster is among the best apps to help you manage that.
Any business owner will agree that time is money. Personal and financial success relies heavily on ability to manage your time effectively. We hope our advice will help you boost your productivity and focus on tasks that turn the tide in your business.
If running your business and balancing your life feel far too often like fumbling around in the dark, our programs serve as your flashlight. Learn more about how you can achieve what you want in your business by clicking here.
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