“The Bad News: time flies

The Good News: you’re the pilot.”

 

Here we look at some of the useful advice on effective time management to take into 2019 and beyond. Successful people put a very high value on their time and work hard to become better organised and more efficient. People who take a longer-term view are often more successful in life – focussing on the end results rather than getting bogged down in the detail.

 

Practice makes perfect

To be good at time management you must make a commitment to become expert at managing your time.  Good time management can be developed with lots of practice.

 

Setting goals

What are you trying to achieve? Goals and objectives help you know what you want to achieve and how are you going to do it. Put your goals down in writing and review them regularly – remember, goals should be SMART (Specific, Measureable, Attainable, Realistic, Time).

 

Urgent and important

A useful way of analysing what you do is to list whether it is URGENT and whether it is IMPORTANT. This helps you to prioritise tasks and manage your time to get the important stuff done.

 

A problem shared

Many managers find that a huge amount of their time is taken up solving problems brought to them by their team. As a result their problem becomes your problem… and you end up doing everybody else’s work. Encourage team members to bring a suggestion for solving the problem with them and make it easier for them to implement the solution. The One Minute Manager Meets The Monkey by Ken Blanchard is a great read and has lots more advice like this.

 

Getting organised

It is said that one minute in planning will save you 5 minutes – in other words, planning will give you a 500% return on your investment so it really makes sense to plan properly. A time planner is a good way to organise your week and monthly/yearly planners can help longer term too.

 

On your ‘to do’ list, grade tasks using the A, B, C, D, E system where D stands for delegate and E stands for eliminate. You can be more objective if you prepare your list the night before and this also makes it easier to relax at home.

Avoid time wasters

The business guru Brian Tracy identifies these 7 key time wasters:

  1. Telephone interruptions
  2. Unexpected visitors
  3. Meetings
  4. Fire-fighting
  5. Socialising
  6. Indecision
  7. Procrastination

 

Find out more about avoiding these issues in Brian’s books.

Improving effectiveness

Here are some further basic tips on managing your time and effectiveness:

  • Concentrate on the tasks that give the greatest chance of leading to your goal and ask yourself, “What is the most valuable use of my time right now?
  • Make sure you are always doing the right things rather than doing things right
  • Do more of what you do well and less of what you don’t do well – learn the art of effective delegation for this
  • Never assume a person has understood the delegated task. Ask them to tell you in their own words and identify the next steps required
  • Use your prime time (the time of day when you are most effective) for creative work
  • Don’t get bogged down with the unimportant things that have a tendency to multiply
  • Finish one task before moving on to the next
  • Apply the Pareto principle (the 80/20 rule) to your business – 20% of your efforts produce 80% of your results.

 

If you want to make some changes to the way you run your business, to make progress towards your goals and achieve the results you really want, our 8 Step Business Improvement Programme is here to help you.

 

The tailored plan combines CRM expertise in numbers with the ideas of some of the world’s leading business thinkers and it gets great results. Find out more at //crmoxford.co.uk/business-development/8-step-business-improvement-programme/

 

Sage Accountant Partner Logoiris kashflowFreeagent