If you are like most CEO’s, small business managers and entrepreneurs, you treasure your time and wish you had more of it. A recent study by McKinsey Quarterly polled 1,500 international business leaders. Only 9 percent of these leaders said they were “very satisfied” with their time management abilities.
Some interesting observations came from the McKinsey Quarterly study. 25 percent of small business owners said they would pay $500.00 for one extra hour per day. It doesn’t sound like small business leaders have figured out the best time management techniques…
Other business leaders said time was a more valuable commodity than their mobile phone and even more important than the enterprise’s office. If you think this means time management challenges are eroding our life, you may be right.
Time management should be about increasing productivity and efficiency and securing a healthy lifestyle. If your time constraints put your physical or mental health at risk, it is time to make changes.
Steps to Improve Time Management
If we establish better productivity, better efficiency and a healthier lifestyle as our priorities, there are steps we can take that will improve these priorities. We may have to work hard to get a better time management culture in our enterprise but the results will yield big dividends.
Delegation is an old principle but the fact is that few leaders really implement a culture that is successful with delegation. Delegation takes training and calls for trust between the assigning and receiving persons.
In today’s world of open innovation and collaboration, businesses that do not have strong collaborative compositions are bound to never reach their full potential. The business leader must stay in the game but if the leader’s role is too hands on, he or she is discouraging collaboration and wasting a lot of time. Business leaders have more important things to do than have their fingers in every aspect of the business.
Begin by empowering trusted workers. You will see an immediate increase in energy and output in those individuals. That’s should encourage the leader to expand the empowerment and collaborative culture.
Don’t Let Technology Bog You Down
Embrace technology that organises and improves business communications. Businesses that do not stay abreast of the best business communication technologies do not reach their full potential. This means dedicating the time to convert to cloud technology or any other technology that maximises your output and the output of those in your empowered circle. You must have technology like Google Docs that allows the business leader to communicate with staff in real-time.
Maintain an Accurate Calendar
We can bog ourselves down with unimportant meetings and engagements. Work closely with an office administrator to ensure that you have time between engagements and that you have time to prepare for these engagements. You cannot be all things to all people. Pick your spots and have a coordinator constantly manage your appointments in a sensible way. Entrust your calendar to a “pro-active” assistant who understands the importance of your time.
Use Time Management Metrics
Make your staff aware of their own time management responsibilities. When assigning tasks, allow a certain amount of time to the project. Tell managers your estimation of their time. Estimate your own time allowed for each project. Track your progress and encourage staff to report their time allocations per project at every meeting. This will ensure every effort is focused.
Be Prepared For Change
In these volatile times, business leaders can get caught up in positive or negative employment shifts when they should be concentrating on their core responsibilities. Employment shifts can be distracting and cost hours of lost time. Have plans in place on how responsibilities will change and be sure that when responsibilities do change, the employees are trained to transition into new roles.
Instead of wishing for a 25th hour each and every day, set aside one hour every day for your personal time. Walk, exercise or do some form of healthy physical and mental exercise – you will be surprised how helpful these tips can be!