How To Manage Your Time More Effectively
by Ian Cowley, managing director of www.cartridgesave.co.uk Becoming the master of your time is vital to running a successful business. Sometimes it can seem like there are not enough hours in the day to finish your workload. Following our six top tips will not only improve your efficiency in your workplace but help reduce the stress in your life:
1. Carry out a daily evaluation.When there are lots of various jobs pulling you in different directions take a moment to perform a daily evaluation. Stepping back can help you identify your number one priority. That said, don’t neglect smaller jobs. If you can do it quickly it might be best to get it out of the way now. Compartmentalise your day so you can whizz through a series of similar jobs in one go, such as responding to emails or calling your clients.
2. Avoid all interruptions.If you need to focus, turn your phone off, shut down your emails and put up a ‘do not disturb’ sign on your door. Whatever you’ve missed can easily be caught up upon at a less pressing time. Remember, you don’t have to give people your attention unless it’s critical for your business to give them an immediate response.
3. Organise your workforce.We naturally believe that our own way of working is always best and there is a natural temptation to do everything yourself. However, delegating jobs throughout your workforce can help relieve the pressure on yourself and improve the efficiency of your business. Give clear and precise instructions to your staff and check back with them regularly to make sure everything is on track. The more often you do this, the more your team will grow in confidence. Schedule weekly meetings with your senior team to discuss all the issues and management decisions they are facing. This dedicated time ensures they can collate a list of questions you can discuss with them in a set period. Not only will they appreciate having a regular time set aside just for them but it will help reduce the constant drip of queries you have throughout the day.
4. Know your own capabilities.You know when you are in the best frame of mind to tackle a certain job. If you feel as if you’re not getting anywhere it might be time to put it aside and come back to it when you feel more inspired. Be realistic about the standard of work you can expect in a given time. There is no point fixating on achieving idealized vision of perfection all the time as this can hold up an entire project. When you feel you have achieved a reasonable level of what you set out to achieve it might be time stop and make plans to come back to finalise it at a later date.
5. Keep a to-do list.Make a list of all your jobs. Continually referring back to this will stop from drifting and going off on a tangent. This will also help you keep track of any approaching deadlines. Everyone responds to a strict deadline so set them in place to stop you from losing your focus.
6. Don’t let decisions get on top of you.A lot of time can be wasted agonising over decisions. Not only does this hold up everyone around you but is likely to sap your self-confidence. More often than not your first instinct is usually the right one. Also, you are more likely to regret a decision if you have spent a long time planning rather than going with your gut. Ian Cowley is the managing director of the UK’s largest dedicated printer cartridge company - www.cartridgesave.co.uk.
This is an article contributed to Young Upstarts and published or republished here with permission. All rights of this work belong to the authors named in the article above.