Managing not just your time but also your employees’ time isn’t easy. There are only so many hours in the day, and you might not always manage to use them effectively.
If you want to be sure that none of your time goes to waste, especially if you’re trying to run a business, you need to know the best time management tricks. A few smart methods to manage your time and the time of your employees too can help to reduce stress and boost motivation, reduce procrastination, and make it easier for you to meet deadlines. Try some of these tricks to get better at time management.
Create a schedule
If you don’t already have one, creating a schedule for yourself ensures you know what you should be doing and when. It helps you avoid taking on tasks at random and simply moving onto whatever catches your attention next. Of course, it’s even more important to have a schedule for staff so that they know when they should be working and what they should be doing. You might be able to allot blocks of time to the same tasks each day, even if you won’t be working on exactly the same thing. It could make sense to create a schedule each week or perhaps even at the beginning of each day.
Learn how to prioritize
Prioritization is vital for good time management. If you don’t know which tasks are the most important to complete, you’re probably not using your time very wisely. Some tasks need to be completed first because there’s more riding on them, or perhaps because you can’t move onto the next task until you’ve completed the one at hand. You need to be able to identify which are the most important tasks for you and your employees to complete so you can ensure they go to the top of your priority list. However, be careful that lower priority tasks aren’t perpetually on the bottom of your pile.
Group like tasks together
One of the best ways to make good use of your time is to put similar tasks together. You can work faster and more efficiently if you complete a series of tasks that are similar, even if they’re not exactly the same. For example, if you have three blog posts that you need to write, you might first do some research for all three, then write them all, and then edit them all. This can be a more efficient way to work than researching, writing and editing one, and then moving onto the next one to do the same.
The art of delegation is one that everyone in business needs to learn. If you’re working with a team, there’s no point in them being there if you’re not going to use their skills. You should know what everyone is capable of and who is the best person to complete different tasks. Of course, there might be some things that you think are some important that you need to do them yourself. However, you need to be willing to trust your team so that they can take some of the work. If you don’t currently have anyone to help you, you might consider outsourcing some of your work.
Employ time management software
Sometimes when you’re trying to make improvements, having the right technology can make all the difference. When you have the right tools, they can do a lot of the work for you. Time management software helps you to schedule your time and your employees’ time too. GetSling work schedule maker is one example of the software you can use to make scheduling easier. A tool like this is especially helpful when scheduling multiple employees. If you just want to manage your time, you can get along with just a digital calendar. However, it becomes more complicated when you need to schedule your employees too.
Help employees manage their own time
As well as scheduling employees so they know when they should be working and what they should be doing, you can help them to manage their own time. Many employees benefit from having more control over their time, instead of having all of their time scheduled to the last second. Giving them more control over their schedules can help, especially as they will often understand which tasks to prioritize better than you might. You can also help them to schedule their time by making it easier to book time off when they need it.
Getting distracted is often a big problem when you’re trying to get things done. It makes it tough to get your work done, but you can feel like many distractions are important too. For example, you might need to respond to some emails, answer a phone call, or speak to someone who comes to your office. The best thing to do with these kinds of distractions can be to add them to your schedule so that you know when to handle them. This might mean checking your emails only at specific times or having office hours when people can drop in to see you.
Many people try to multitask, thinking that they can get several things done at once and perhaps make better use of their time. However, the reality is that trying to multitask can often affect the quality of the work that is produced. Instead of multitasking, it’s much better to get one task completed at a time. As well as reining in your own multitasking, addressing it with anyone you work with is also smart. Discouraging multitasking will help to improve productivity and improve the quality of your employees’ work. Make it clear to them that multitasking is not the best thing to do if they want to do their work well.
Make time for breaks
When trying to manage your time wisely, you need to remember that taking breaks is important too. Breaks give you time to recover and to clear your mind, especially between working on one task and moving to another. Both you and your employees need to have regular breaks to improve efficiency, morale, productivity, and general happiness. Scheduling both a time to take a break and how long the break will be ensures you stop when you need to, but also that you will get back to work as quickly as possible.
Know your limits
Overworking yourself isn’t a smart idea, and neither is planning your day so that every second of it is used up. It’s important to know how much time you have available in a day or week, as well as just what you can get done during that time. Overestimating what you’re capable of can lead to using time you can’t afford to use so that you can get your work done. The same is true for any employees you might have. You don’t want to give them too much to do, or you will end up with poor results and overworked staff.
Weed out procrastination
Procrastination wastes a lot of time, but it’s so easy to give into it. Some of the causes of procrastinating could include too many distractions, a lack of motivation, or perhaps even poor understanding of the task at hand. If you think procrastinating is affecting your business, you first need to identify the causes and then find ways to fix them.
When you learn to manage your time and that of your employees, it delivers a wide range of benefits for you and your business.