Best time management skills – Learning how to optimise your time is a crucial component of successful leadership and business ownership. Many business owners feel overwhelmed for many reasons, including deadlines, customer expectations, employee management, and quality control. However, regardless of the reason, poor time management consequences are the same and can result in missed opportunities and stagnant growth.
It’s common for business owners to feel out of control as important tasks and projects pile up; chasing your tail is not only stressful and overwhelming; it is exhausting.
Managing your time efficiently opens your business up to more business and growth opportunities; it provides you with a more sustainable work schedule for a better quality of life.
Many techniques can help you make better use of your time so take a look at some of the best time management skills we’ve listed below.
Benefits of time blocking
Time blocking is a useful time management method that divides your day into scheduled blocks of time. Each block is dedicated to accomplishing a specific task or subtasks relevant to the overarching task.
Organising your time in group-related activities and completing them in scheduled blocks, preferably by thirty, sixty or ninety-day increments, will ensure you start meeting deadlines and have time to accommodate and consider other business opportunities, including leadership matters. Optimising your time will also create more space and balance in your personal life, so you have time to do the things you enjoy.
It’s only realistic to consider that certain weeks will be substantially different from others; some weeks may be focused heavily on project completion, whilst others may be weighted towards client and team management.
Changing how you schedule your time now is immediately beneficial and will positively change your company’s future.
If you want to start scheduling your time into strategic blocks, you will first need to hone in on your immediate and future priorities. Creating a list of all the items on your to-do list is a good place to start. Then prioritise your tasks and projects according to their urgency, or if you have conflicting priorities, prioritise them based on which impending deadline comes first.
It’s important to set attainable goals, and if scheduling your time two to three months in advance feels overwhelming, first schedule your time in a five-week period. Within a five-week timeframe, you should be able to start gauging future commitments, including urgent priorities, recurring priorities, and the realistic time of project completion.
Account for flexibility
When scheduling your time, accounting for flexibility to respond to customers and dedicating time to unexpected issues that may arise is an important consideration. You need to schedule your time in an attainable manner, setting blocks aside based on expectations of how much time you will realistically need to dedicate to completing the task at hand. Attainable scheduling and goal setting where you see results and progress is crucial to long-term success.
Depending on your business size and industry, you may require your staff’s input to help determine your plans and further delegate tasks accordingly. It’s generally recommended to work in hourly blocks of time, e.g. 9 am to 10 am etc.; adding a buffer between blocks also helps implement an element of flexibility.
Completing urgent tasks
Generally, significantly busy workloads are cyclic. To help mitigate these cycles of heavy workloads, you will find starting an hour earlier or finishing an hour later will provide enough scope for you to create real progress in completing urgent tasks.
The motivation for you to continue to organise your time efficiently will develop further as you start seeing the results of project completion and your business grows due to your dedicated and disciplined actions.
- Effective time management opens your business up to further opportunities and growth; it also optimises your life, allowing you more time to do the things you love most.
- Time blocking is one of the best time management skills that divide your day into scheduled blocks of time, preferably into hourly blocks with a buffer between each session.
- Accounting for flexibility to respond to customers and dedicating time to unexpected issues that may arise is an important consideration.
- Busy workloads are cyclic; help mitigate these cycles by starting an hour earlier or finishing an hour later. This will help you complete urgent tasks during busy periods.