The biggest complaint busy entrepreneurs have is that despite planning out their day in advance, they can’t manage their time and stick to their schedules. Unfortunately, the truth is that you will never have enough time to do all that you want to do so you will need to review your priorities and practice effective time management techniques. A few practical ways of managing time for ensuring maximum productivity:
Carry Out a Time Audit
If you want to manage your time effectively, you need to find out what you have been doing with your time and what you need to do with it. Take a three-month period and analyze it comprehensively to find out the activities that have consumed your time and the different people you had to collaborate with to get things done. This time audit will reveal whether the work you have done was properly aligned with the business objectives and goals of your company. It will also let you know the tasks that took longer to complete due to distractions and also the activities where productivity was the maximum.
Eliminate Unimportant but Time-Consuming Activities
The purpose of the time audit is to discover areas in which your time management can be improved upon and the activities that take up most of the time but which may not be very important. Activities that take up a lot of time but do not contribute to business productivity need special attention. These include meetings without agendas, not delegating work, inefficient management of meetings, and spending too much time in unnecessary correspondence.
Assume Control over Your Calendar
You need to be the person to be responsible for how you spend your time and not let others dictate it. Know what you have to do and allocate enough time to do them while resisting the urge to keep on changing your schedule to accommodate other tasks, especially if they are not critical or urgent. At the end of the day, it is how you can allocate your time that will drive the performance of your venture and reflect on how effective you are as a leader. A commitment to strict time management also sends a strong signal to your team for similar emulation.
Plan Your Day in Advance
The success of time management lies in the manner you plan your day; however, it can be surprising to note just how many entrepreneurs let the events of the day control their life. You will be better prepared to change your work priorities only when you know in advance what your priorities are and what you have to achieve during the day. A good way of effectively managing time is to set your schedule and then allocating 90-minute blocks of time to complete a group of related tasks. It is important to practice discipline and not overshoot the time limit.
Time management can only work when you hold yourself accountable. Make it a point to share priorities, tasks, and deadlines with a colleague and conduct monthly review meetings to find out how well you have managed time and discuss how you can improve.