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In our article on the benefits of telecommuting, we mentioned that increasing productivity is one of the benefits. In order to increase productivity, one must understand the ways in which time can be managed. This article will discuss the business time management strategies that increase time and productivity
Sometimes, we feel stressed trying to accomplish one thing or the other within a given time frame. How do we put an end to this? The best way is to organize tasks and use time wisely. Remember, your business is now a part of your life. For it to be productive, YOU must try your very best to make it so.
As you try hard to fulfill all aspirations you have for your business, there must be no compromise to the process because it determines the effectiveness and efficiency of your business.
The strategies that would be stated soon can either make or mar your business depending on how you use them.
Top 7 Time Management Strategies That Make Or Mar Your Business
1. Control your time by setting deadlines for yourself:
If for anything, deadlines are important to keep you in check and on track. One thing about time is that businessmen and women do not have enough of it. There is never enough time for tasks to be accomplished.
Let me ask some questions; if you were given more than enough time, what would you be able to achieve? How effective would you be? You must learn to control your time. You are the head of your business. No one should tell you how to use your time.
The random things that come in-between cannot be avoided but you can be in control of them. For instance, you have a deadline to meet before 10 am, then all of a sudden, an important call came through requesting you attend to a customer.
Would you decide to leave the customer hanging or would you damn the consequences of not finishing up to attend to the customer? Your answer would determine how productive and profitable you want your business to be.
How do you take control of your time?
Set out days in which you will be able to handle random but important things, preferably between the week, Wednesdays and Thursdays. This would also give your customers the understanding and before you know it, you’d be able to adjust to your preferred schedule.
2. Clear every blank space on your calendar:
Your #1 tool for time management is your calendar. How strict you are with your calendar would determine how successful you are. Managing your calendar is not an easy task, trust me. So, how do you solve that problem? Ensure your days are deliberately planned out and there is no idle time.
- First, I would advise that you make use of an online calendar so it would be in sync with your mobile phone and your web applications.
- Input tasks that you do on weekly basis i.e., recurring tasks. Do the same for tasks that can be done monthly or yearly. Cut huge work loads into smaller bits to cover up free spaces. Ensure everything on your calendar moves you towards success.
Double-check your schedules every day to ensure there are no loose-ends and you are in total control.
3. Notifications and alerts should be snoozed when doing business:
These things can be unnecessarily distracting. Imagine you are at your work table and every one minute, there is a beep on your phone; a notification, a mail, an Instagram post, etc. trust me, there is no way you will be able to concentrate.
The speed rate would reduce and you will not be able to accomplish what you have set to do that day. It is not wrong to get these notifications besides, they help mentally but it checking them every minute might turn it into an addiction.
This is another of the business time management strategies.
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4. Do not procrastinate:
Once you have set a task to end at a particular time and day, ensure you stick to it. As work piles up, you will find it very hard to begin even one. Confusion will set in. devote your time to starting a job and ensuring you finish it before attempting another. “Workload is stress load”.
A question was asked; does procrastination mean laziness? My answer would be NO. When you are procrastinating, you are in activity but you are not doing what is expected of you; you are doing something else, leaving the right thing to be done at a later date. While laziness is simply lying around, doing nothing.
Procrastination can demotivate and cause disillusionment which in turn, leads to depression and the downfall of your business.
There are certain ways to get rid of procrastination and some of them are;
- Accept the fact that you are procrastinating. Sometimes, work is being put off for genuine reasons but they still lead to the stalling of other jobs. For a business to thrive, one must be able to start and finish a job at the said time.
- Commit to your task.
- Give yourself a treat after concluding a job.
- Ensure there is someone who is keeping you in check. The fact that you are the boss does not mean you are being checked.
- Get rid of the difficult tasks first.
- Keep your workspace tidy: there is one major thing that can discourage one from working and that is clutter. Having a disorganized workspace increases the time in which you ought to spend at work and also affects you mentally. Clutter can sometimes cause anger and weakness. So, it is advised that you have a clean, well-organized desk top, documents stacked alphabetically in neat piles. Scanning is also efficient to save you the trouble of going through sheets of paper to sort for information.
In the next part of this article, we would be looking at the remaining five time management business strategies that will boost your business if adhered to or will let it crumble.