Effective Time Management

October 28th, 2018

Old quirky building clock

There’s never enough hours in the day especially for a business owner!

When I’m coaching it’s one of the most common questions: ‘How do I save time?

It seems to me that business owners are either:
1. Working for minimum wage, or
2. Popping into the office one day a week, spending the rest of the time on personal activities.
Which are you and how do you move from point 1 to point 2?

Becoming more effective, just focusing on the important work and building a great team around you who can run the business whilst  you’re not there is a great way to start. But first you need to save some time so you can put these new tactics into practice.

Here are 4 ways that are guaranteed to save you time:

1. Delegate
Move easy, straightforward tasks off your desk onto a junior. Give them the process and let them take over. Beware; don’t abdicate responsibility; monitor, especially in the early days.

2. Terminate
Stop doing unnecessary tasks. Ask yourself, does it really need to be done or are you just doing it because you’ve always done it? If it doesn’t add any value; stop doing it. The only exception to this are the tasks you do that keep you legal – you can’t terminate Health and Safety as much as many would love to. Don’t pass it on – stopping the task means terminating it, permanently.

3. Automate
We have a lot to thank technology for; not least giving us back time by automating tasks. For example, you can automate a series of emails to a prospect to keep them interested or a purchaser to reinforce the sale.They’re written and prepared once and triggered to automatically send when you signed up for information or completed a purchase.

There’s a time saving ‘something’ for every scenario – you just need to look.

Designing and implementing robust systems and processes saves everyone time because using the process means it’s always right first time. Every part of the business must have processes in place. When you map out the processes you’ll be able to clearly see what you can and can’t automate. Doing the books is much easier because of cloud accounting and the rise of applications which means that doing the book work at the weekend is a thing of the past.

4. Elevate
This is one aspect many overlook. Usually the preserve of a busy middle manager who delegates upwards, but it applies to business owners too. Maybe you have a business partner, a NED, an advisory board or expert panel; who are able to help too. Think about tasks and help you can get from them as well as your suppliers; accountants, bank manager, agencies or advisers.

Time for action! How do you spend your time? Keep a work diary – split into 15 minute sections. List everything you do for a week. Seems a pain I know, but it will be worth it, I promise!

Now take a red pen and strike through all the terminate items. Now a green pen for tasks you’re going to delegate and a blue pen to automate and a black one for elevate.

How much time have you already saved? I’m betting, enough to have a day off ….
If you’d like to have some more ‘me time’ by saving time at work then see how much time a business coach can save you, then get in touch.

coachSME88

Shirley Mansfield is a highly experienced business coach and Master Problem Solver. With over 25 years’ experience, she founded CoachSME in 2011 to work with business owners to maximise growth, and she is still trying to reduce the 14 handicap! Keep up to date by following me on Twitter.