Do you find you don’t have enough time in each workday to get everything done? Are you having to work on weekends and nights to catch up? Are you falling behind schedule on initiatives or projects? A recent study concluded that most small business owners don’t have enough time in the day to get everything done. In fact, the same study indicated that small business owners would actually pay as much as $500 to have just one more hour in their workday. Managing your time wisely is a key component to both business success and avoiding burnout.
When I started working for IBM back in the early 80’s, one of my branch managers taught me the value associated with time management. Deciding what is important, and what is not, can and will lead you to being more successful. Lost time cannot be replaced, bought or saved – it can only be spent and then it’s gone. Managing your time is all about being organized. Setting annual, monthly, weekly and daily goals, then prioritizing your tasks and activities associated with them is a great starting point. As the saying goes, “Plan Your Work and Work Your Plan.”
In the “old days,” there were numerous companies that created time management notebooks where tasks, events, activities and to-do lists could be documented and prioritized. I remember using them and going through a lot of erasers as I changed the priority of things I was doing. In today’s world, this is all automated, whether it is on a computer, tablet or smart phone. You now have easy access to tools that help you manage your time, remind you of appointments, communicate with others and track your progress.
And time management not only applies to yourself, but people who work for and with you. Delegating responsibilities, tasks and activities to others can “leverage” your time, allowing you to focus on higher priorities. Having a daily to-do list that is prioritized will help you see the bigger picture. What needs to be done today? What can wait until tomorrow? What can you delegate to others? And what task can be pushed off or taken off the list?
There are hundreds of books on this topic and even more methodologies that people have invented to help you manage your time. But at the end of the day, it all comes back to a few simple things. Having a plan and being organized. Managing your time wisely can make a big difference in your business results and success.