7 steps to an efficient day, everyday!
Efficient time management is an important aspect of every entrepreneur’s life. For business to run smoothly and make progress, founders need to manage their time efficiently. There are countless time management courses, articles and apps available to help business owners make the most of their week and save time. But do they really save your precious time? In this article, I am listing my 7 top ways of saving time by following a simple daily routine.
START YOUR DAY WITH A PLAN
Take a few minutes each morning to identify what you want to achieve that day and hold yourself accountable and you will see a drastic shift in your efficiency right away. Best, is to write a list of tasks starting with most important. It does not matter what you use – you can simply use pen and paper or if you are a digital type, a simple app such as Trello. Whatever works for you is best.
SCHEDULE APPOINTMENTS WITH YOURSELF
Assign time slots for each task and stick to your schedule. Allocate most important tasks to the times of the day when you are most productive and fill the gaps with less important ones. It’s good to create daily time blocks for ongoing tasks such as replying to emails, say twice a day so you are not distracted by emails that come through during times when you are focusing on one of your main tasks of the day.
SPEND HALF OF YOUR WORKING TIME ON IMPORTANT TASKS
Make sure that you are spending at least half of your working hours completing the high priority tasks that produce the most results. You might, for example, like to assign two three-hour slots each day for big tasks and then distribute remaining hours between low priority tasks.
ACCOUNT FOR INTERRUPTION TIME
If you are working in a shared office, the reality is that you will occasionally be interrupted by colleagues who need your advice/help/feedback. Allocate time for this too. You might want to plan 2.5h of your ‘big task’ time to be spend working efficiently and account 30 min of it to interruptions. This way, if you get distracted, you can still achieve your goal and if you don’t, well that’s an extra 30 min in your schedule to cross something else off the list! Put a ‘Do not disturb’ sign when you absolutely have to get work done.
TACKLE SIMILAR TASKS IN BULK
If you have a few similar tasks to get done, allocate a slot to tackle them all at once. This might be writing blog articles, calling clients or updating your social networks. We lose several minutes each day switching from one task to another, so doing similar tasks all at onece will save you the readjustment time.
DO NOT MULTITASK
A common belief is that multitasking helps you to get things done faster. It might be true in some cases such as using a hands free set to make phone calls whilst driving for long hours but, if you are trying to tackle 2 important projects at the same time the reality is that you will likely not make a good job of any of them. It is better to allocate specific time slots for each and focus 100% of your attention on just one task.
DELEGATE OR OUTSOURCE ANYTHING THAT YOU ARE NOT GOOD AT
If you have employees, then delegate anything that is not important or is not something that you are good at. This will free you to focus on important tasks. If you are a one-man band then outsource anything that you are struggling with. Websites like Fiverr or Freelancer offer an abundance of skilled professionals who can get these things done at competitive rates whilst you are focusing on the big picture.
Time is money they say, so spend yours wisely!
This blog post was written for and originally appeared on IdeaSquares blog.