Time management is perhaps one of the finest skills to possess, but unfortunately, it’s frequently an idea that few individuals, and businesses, fully grasp. In fact, many small businesses, particularly those operating on razor-sharp margins, simply cannot afford to waste time at all with inefficient time management. But even the advantages of great time management are immeasurable. When time is managed effectively and efficiently, it can mean the difference between achieving your goals and falling just short. So what exactly constitutes great time management?
A key part of time management is prioritizing. As with any other aspect of business, it’s important to know what tasks are more important than others. You would rather take the time to perform the most essential tasks first, even if those tasks may require a little extra effort or expense. In addition, you’ll avoid wasting time performing unnecessary tasks that will not likely be completed anyway. Thus, if you prioritize your business properly, you’ll be able to better identify which of your various business goals need the most urgent attention, and thus, would take the appropriate action to fulfill them.
Another key aspect of time management is a time tracking. By utilizing time tracking software, which allows you to keep tabs on how your time is spent throughout the day, you can monitor how your various tasks are progressing. For instance, if you see that you spend more time goofing off on Facebook than you do actually work, you might want to consider reducing the amount of time you spend on this social networking site, thereby ensuring that you’re focusing your attention on more important tasks. Likewise, if you notice that you are spending too much time on email instead of actually completing your tasks related to your business, you may want to evaluate your methods for time management, and perhaps even implement a multitasking strategy that uses a variety of activities to accomplish one primary goal.
Another key aspect of time management involves identifying what your most important and most desired short-term and long-term goals are. If, for instance, you have a business plan that states you want to open a general account at a certain bank, but you know you’ll rarely ever be able to fulfill all of your short-term goals to make such a payment, you should focus your attention on the tasks that will help you meet your financial goals. For example, you may find it useful to invest in a new computer or cell phone technology that you know you will use to send out invoices and track your profits. Likewise, if you know that a new sales training program will help you market your products effectively, you should make sure to include this particular activity in your to-do list.
Finally, time management skills will improve the way you communicate with other people. For example, if you regularly fail to respond promptly to clients’ needs because you’re not a good multitasker, you may lose your professional credibility. As a result, when clients or co-workers try to get you to take care of them in a multitasking capacity, you may become even less likely to engage in such actions. As a result, by developing your skills to become better time managers, you can improve the effectiveness of your relationships with your coworkers and clients.
It takes a little effort and patience, but time management skills will pay off in increased productivity and improved interpersonal relationships. When you make time management a priority in your daily routine, you will find that you’re more able to get things done and that you have less stress and frustration in your life. In addition, once you become better at time management, you will also gain the respect of your coworkers and your clients.