Improve time management for yourself, your business

|  April 23, 2019
ILLUSTRATION: ISTOCK.COM/GREYFEBRUARY

ILLUSTRATION: ISTOCK.COM/GREYFEBRUARY

What do each of us have in common with Bill Gates and Warren Buffet? We’re all allotted 24 hours in a day.

Still, the older we get, the more often we’re reminded that time is slipping away. Here we are already in the second quarter of the year. I hope you have hit the ground running for 2019. But if not, let’s look at how you can manage the time that’s allocated to us all, equally, to achieve maximum results. Let’s put a laser focus on what’s really important in our daily business and our personal lives: understanding time.

Analyzing time can be complex. It helps to ask yourself:

  • Do I set aside time each day to prioritize demands? (“What do I tackle first?”)
  • Do I have a daily list to check off and follow?
  • Can I recognize the most difficult task at hand, then deal with that right away?
  • Am I delegating tasks that are not time-effective for me to do?
  • Have I been successful at estimating how much time each assignment will take, so I can set realistic expectations for myself and my employees?

 

Nobody’s perfect

It’s not easy. I have been guilty of wasting too much time on tasks that were not that important in the big picture, even when I’ve “known better.” But the art of delegation has helped me greatly over the years. Some folks may see delegating tasks as the lazy way out. But I argue it’s the smart way to get things done.

Steve Jobs didn’t personally make iPhones, but he had the ability to hire and delegate the right people with the right sets of skills to create his vision. (Thanks, Steve, I sure hated my old Palm Pilot and BlackBerry!)

You need to work on your business, not in your business. Teaching your employees to make the best use of their time is equally important.

Having routes tightly scheduled not only makes everyone more money, but the bonus of getting your employees home on time ultimately will make them and their families happy. If your employees need help scheduling their routes, have a customer service representative (CSR) do that for them for a few weeks — while your employees brush up on their time management skills.

Time management can be learned, but funny enough, it can take time to do.

 

Finding balance

One thing that takes up so much of my time each day is reading and responding to emails. I hate it. And if you’re on a lot of social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, etc., I feel for you, too. I really believe social media will be the death of us all, in terms of wasted time.

Of course, the more involved we are, the more we have to deal with and learn how to balance in our lives. You might be involved in activities related to your business, church, kids’ school or sports teams, or a host of other things that eat up our time. Remember, time is your friend — if you learn how to manage it.

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