Monday, August 30, 2010
Time management comes up again and again as a topic of interest
for people in business. Here's a short how-to to help you improve your
time management habits
One of the biggest drains on time can be the trap of spending time on
things that don't have to be done - by us.
Think about the tasks that you have to do.
Draw up a list and look at them objectively.
Separate into blocks:
Things that have to be done
Some things need to be done in business. By someone. If they are things
that need to be done AND they are things that could be done by anyone,
then the question that must be asked, then it begs the question - is
this something that could be done by someone else, at a lower $per hour
rate than your work, or by someone with better skills to do that task.
It is pointless if your earning rate is over $100 an hour, to be doing
work that could be done (and possibly more effectively) by someone whose
pay rate is $20 an hour.
Are you getting involved in tasks that you should be delegating?
If you probably should but don't have anyone to whom you can delegate this,
then it might be time to consider outsourcing to a virtual assistant (like a
personal assistant that you hire outside the business for odd pieces of work
when you don't have an employee in house who can do it. You only pay for the
actual hours they work on your behalf.) This might only need a few hours a week
but could help clear your desk of work you've been putting off - or not doing
at all! (You can contact Lindy Asimus for more information if you are interested
in finding a virtual assistant).
Things that have to be done by you
If you have been brutally honest, you'll probably have cleared some things out of
your list so now you're down to the core of things that only you can do. When you
sort your list and clarify those things that only you can do - then prioritise them.
Work out what you need to be able to get these done.
Do you have everything you need to do these tasks?
What other resources do you need to finalise these tasks?
If you need something to happen before the tasks can be finalised, arrange for
someone to do that, or do it yourself (if only you can do it) and get it that
one step closer to being finished.
Things that are good to be done
What would happen if you did them?
What would happen if you didn't do them?
In light of that, are they really necessary?
Can they be delegated to someone? If so do that.
If they are really worth doing, then add them to
the other lists - Things that have to be done and
Things that have to be done by you.
The rest - Delegate Or Delete
If they don't belong on these two prime lists, or the Delegate list,
then perhaps they don't need to be done at all and can be removed.
Part of the art of spending your time well, is
to very clearly understand the value of your time.
Set clear priorities
Be clear on how you spend your time and learn to say
"No" to things that are not your priority, or that don't reflect
the value of your time.
Write everything down that needs to be done - and deal with it as above.
Block out your diary times
Going to the gym? Good, block it out in your diary before the week begins.
Know at a glance, when you are available, and when you are not,
according to your priorities.
Make meetings work for you
Every meeting should have an agenda and an outcome you want to achieve
from the meeting. Do you really need a meeting, or could you accomplish
the same thing over the phone or by sending an email? Meetings are a
time sink and if you must be at one, make sure you get something of value
out of that meeting, commensurate with the cost incurred in holding it.
Many times we attend meetings that never reach a conclusion, or have
actions that are never followed up on or reported about.
Look at your previous meetings and assess the return on your investment
for attending them.
Did anything worthwhile come from them?
Ask: Is there a better way to get to the result?
If a meeting is the answer, then before the meeting, write down the result
you want from it and make sure it achieves the outcomes you want.
Thinking Of Getting A Business