Time flies when you’re running your own business.
There’s so much to think about: cash flow, staff productivity, health, and safety. The list is pretty much endless.
Days, weeks, and months seem to roll into one and, before you know it, another year has been and gone.
That’s completely fine as long as you plan accordingly and effectively.
However, most people will spend more time thinking about their annual leave than actually planning their year.
If you plan for the next 12 months, then you’ll get much more done.
Fail to plan, and even you’ll be surprised at how little you will accomplish.
Effective time management is something that isn’t often associated with growing a business but, in truth, it is a highly potent weapon. It can be the difference between success and failure.
The good news is, you can significantly improve your output by following these five simple steps.
1. Plan effectively
Plan each month, and then each week, and then each day based on your goals.
The key here is to establish what you need to accomplish your goals within a set period. Then break these down into weekly and daily tasks.
It’s crucial to prioritise ‘goal-orientated tasks’ above ‘general tasks.’
You’re probably thinking that planning on this scale will take a lot of thought and time – and you’d be right. That’s why so few people do it and why so few people succeed in life.
Do not underestimate the power of carrying out this first step, as it is likely to be the key to the success of your business.
2. Work during your ‘high-performance times’
You’ll get much more done during the times when your body is alert and active. For many people, this is between 6 am-1 pm and 8-11 pm, but you’ll know when you’re at your best.
It is during these high-performance times that you should carry out your ‘goal-orientated tasks.’
This one step alone should significantly improve your output, so make sure you only allocate high-performance time to essential tasks rather than ‘general tasks.’
After all, your creative juices are more likely to be flowing when your mind is active and alert, and concentrations levels are likely to be higher.
3. Free up your high-performance times
Treat your high-performance times as compulsory appointments (i.e., ones that cannot be cancelled under any circumstances).
If you have a PA or a secretary, make sure they understand that these high-performance times are not to be broken or replaced with other tasks.
4. Resist all distractions
Turn off your mobile during your high-performance times, take your office phone off the hook, and don’t look at your emails.
Even one minor distraction could set you back half an hour, not including the time of the disruption.
Resisting distractions does take a high level of discipline, and in the early days, the temptation will be great to leave your mobile on or take a peek at your emails.
Remember, doing this could cut your effectiveness by up to 50 percent – so stay strong, don’t do it!
5. Do not disturb!
You must explain to staff (and family – particularly if you’re now working at home) that you wish not to be disturbed during your high-performance times unless it’s an emergency.
By following these five simple time management steps, you’ll get much more done.
This translates to better productivity, greater income, and ultimately, more success.