Time is one of your most precious assets, so you need to protect it. And that’s why you also need to ensure you’re managing it effectively. Time management is a hot topic for any business, no matter how big or small – and regardless of whether your business is a home based one or not.
But time management is an important skill anyone in business needs to master, especially if you want to stay productive in a home or work environment. So here’s 3 top time management tips to help keep you productive and manage your time effectively.
#1: Plan in advance
Have goals in place for your month, quarter and year. These will cover your main plans. But also break down those goals and plan for each day and week. Break down your day into manageable chunks of time. Know what needs doing to reach those goals and schedule in time for those tasks.
This isn’t about creating a to do list – because let’s face it, we all tend to have a never ending list of things we could, should and want to do! This is more about knowing your priorities and purposely choosing what is important for you each day and week, so you are taking action on those goals you’re aiming for. You can then slot in other tasks from your to do list, when your main priorities and goals have been worked on.
Take time, at the end of your working day, to plan out your activities for tomorrow. This could be as simple as planning in those main priorities or planning an outline for your next blog post. Not only will this help prepare you for the day ahead, it will save you a lot of time when you do start your working day – as you’ve mentally prepared for what’s ahead.
#2: Aim for a job well done
Know the difference between the need to get things done and those things worth doing well. Perfectionism is a trait that can suck the life out of your time management habits, so learn what tasks simply need completing and those tasks that really need you to focus and complete them to the best of your abilities. Because not all tasks need to be perfect.
Perfectionism dictates that we aim to complete things to a perfect standard – a standard that is almost impossible to meet. Not only does this lead to disappointment, it’s also a huge time waster. If you’re not sure if you’re a perfectionist or not, check out this article on Verywell Mind. It gives you 10 perfectionism signs to watch for – so do check out their article entitled Perfectionist traits: Do these sound familiar?
#3: Manage your energy, not just your time
This is a multipronged assault – it’s about knowing where you need to focus your attention and when you’re most productive, but it’s also about knowing what tasks shouldn’t be on your to do list in the first place.
Your attention needs to be spent on those tasks that a) only you can do, and b) the tasks you enjoy doing. If you have a list of tasks that don’t fit either of these scenarios, you then need to start looking into outsourcing. Not only will outsourcing free up your time, it will also help you save your energy and focus for those tasks that you either like or need to do yourself.
The other part of managing your energy, is knowing when you’re most productive. Our energy levels will fluctuate throughout the day, so understand how yours works. Are you most productive in the morning? If so, plan in those tasks that need your attention and focus in the morning, and plan in the repetitive or easy ones during your afternoon.
As with most things, good time management is a skill you can learn and improve. If you’re not even sure where your time is going each day, check out RescueTime. It has a good in-depth blog on the 25 ways you can be more efficient at work and this includes detailed information on how to understand where your time is going and how to protect it – so I thoroughly recommend you check it out.
If however, you know where your time is going, but you need to start outsourcing tasks to free up more time, reach out and let’s talk. We can look into what I can do to help you reclaim your time from the day-to-day tasks, right through to those one-off projects and assignments. So why not get in touch and have an informal chat at potential time management solutions for you!
Check out this related article: ‘10 Tasks you can outsource to a VA’