As a leader or owner, you often wear multiple hats and are likely pulled in many directions. This probably means that you can’t seem to find the time to focus on what you would like to do. With the ongoing demands of your day-to-day duties and operations and the frequent curve balls that seem to come out of nowhere, it can feel like a never-ending race that you can’t seem to finish. We want to share a few tips and tricks that we have successfully seen to address this frustrating phenomenon.
The time management imperative
When you are overwhelmed, stressed, or have an inadequate work-life balance, your wellbeing is affected, with significant knock-on effects. Often without realizing it, your ability to make decisions and manage situations can become less than ideal. In turn, company culture and employee motivation will suffer.
When we started our own business, we realized that one of the most significant hurdles we had to overcome was using our time effectively. As a result, we faced either burnout or lost opportunities for our business. The more we studied this common issue, the more we realized how it affected people’s businesses and lives. Lack of time often meant people weren’t bringing their best selves to work, and we’re ending up missing business or customer service opportunities.
In this article, we outline some practical ways to overcome time constraints to achieve better outcomes.
Focus on what matters most
As all leaders and business owners know, prioritizing and focusing on what matters most is easier said than done. However, it’s essential to have a laser focus on freeing up time before you can manage it better.
Start by mapping all the things you currently need to do along with realistic deadlines. Then mark out what you can delegate. It’s important to force yourself to delegate what can be delegated and trust people to get the job done reasonably well. If required, invest in external help; this may seem like a cost, but not delegating is likely costing your business and life more.
Organize your tasks
After freeing up time by delegating work, batch your work by type. For example, if there are varied accounting and finance tasks, batch all the tasks together. Batching has multiple positive effects. It allows you to focus on one area and often leads to a more cohesive approach and new ideas. It also helps avoid multitasking—and however good we believe we are at multitasking; we always gain more from concentrating and getting deeper in one area, becoming less likely to make errors.
Build out a calendar
Build out your calendar once you batch your tasks. Start your day by finishing the jobs you like the least. Once those tasks are complete, they weigh you down less and lead to less procrastination. Remember, don’t get distracted by exciting and shiny things since you are more likely to get those done anyway. Build recurring calendar events for items that you know you must address at specific intervals.
Block out time to think and catch up on important ideas, and let your team know that time is blocked off and changed. Ensure you calendarize personal time for yourself. Be vigorous in protecting this time for your self-care and wellbeing. This becomes even more essential when working from home as work can easily spill into your time off.
Open communication with your teams and employees is critical in managing your time. Be transparent with your team and how you are allocating your time, whether you have blocked time off for work or personal matters. Encourage your team to do the same. We find that workplaces that share calendars are more collaborative and respectful. This will also help keep you all accountable for achieving your goals for work-life balance. Continue to solicit feedback to see what is working and what needs to be tweaked. Open communication will help you achieve your goals with a supportive and engaged workforce.
To read our previous blogs, visit: https://www.leadvantage.ca/blog