Being able to manage your time!!!
I so often, in coaching business owners, hear the following:
“I am so busy, do not know if I am coming or going…!” or “Have not been able to focus on any of the work we agreed on, I have been running around like crazy..!”
“Help coach, I am drowning, feeling totally overwhelmed!”
The majority of business owners have huge challenges on their ability to manage and master their time. It does help to accept that we will never have ‘enough time’ to get everything done and that the driving force behind time mastery should be the focus of accomplishing one’s goals!
Four skills are required to master time wisely namely:
- Self management
Analyze all tasks and priorities and divide these between urgent / not urgent versus important / not important
Urgent & Important – Do It!
Not urgent & important – Direction & Focus
Urgent & not important – Delegate it
Not urgent & Not important – Dump it!
Urgent issues need to be handled and always have an immediate impact on the outcome of business e.g. following up on quotes, contacting a sales lead, etc. Important issues have a longer term impact on business results. No immediate urgency but if not done or prioritised, it can have a real negative impact on future growth, success or even failure of the business e.g. strategic planning, financial planning, budgets and sales forecasts, etc.
As a business owner, plan your time and organise your work so that you are never spent any time working on issues that are ‘not important’. These tasks should be delegated or outsourced e.g. admin duties, organising a meeting schedule, filing, etc. An e-mail inbox, social media, unimportant meetings, etc. are all examples of ‘stuff’ that just need to be dumped! Allowing distractions like these results on huge time wasting habits.
Some tips in mastery of time are:
- Create a template for every day / week and month with allocates time periods for specific tasks. At ActionCOACH we refer to this as a default diary. Analyzing and prior planning of our time according to specific tasks helps a lot to prevent wasting time and to ensure efficiency.
- Create this default diary in advance e.g. every Friday afternoon or Sunday evening. Gather all information and material to ‘hit the road running’
- Make use of daily ‘to-do-lists’ and physically tick all tasks completed! This helps toward a sense of achievement and momentum gained as the lists ‘gets done’!
- Stop procrastination – Do the toughest things first! First things first! Stephen Covey’s third habit in the Seven habits of highly effective People.
If one schedules on importance and not urgency – the urgent will almost never happens!