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As a business owner or manager, you’re always busy. Your time is valuable and it probably always feels like you don’t have enough time to mark off all the things on your to-do list. No matter how excellent you are at managing other people, it’s always a challenge to properly manage your own time.
But there are some things that you can do to make the best possible use of your time, without completely overhauling the way that you already operate.
Here are a few tips you can incorporate into your daily life, to get the most out of your waking hours.
Make routine tasks virtual or automated
One of the biggest time wasters in your day may simply be your drive to the bank or your time spent double checking whether or not you paid that credit card bill.
Whenever possible, take in-person tasks online, and make online tasks automated. This will save you the time of physically traipsing around town, and the time of worrying about whether or not you already accomplished some task.
For instance, while you previously may have applied for loans in person, there are now easy ways for you to apply for small loans online. This will save you driving time, and the time that it takes to wait in line at a bank or other loan center.
Further, you can automate tasks that you already accomplish online, such as monthly bill payment. Take one more item off your to-do list by setting your credit card bill to be automatically paid on a certain date every month, and save yourself from worry in the process.
Focus on one task at a time
Although multitasking may seem like the way to get more done in a shorter time period, research has shown that it actually slows you down.
Instead, focus on accomplishing one task at a time, and you’ll find that you save time in the long run. This is because multitasking splits your focus and makes it difficult for you to accomplish anything at all — you may accomplish two tasks in one hour, when you could have completed each task individually in 20 minutes.
Save yourself some time and focus on each objective in turn. As a bonus, you’ll likely find that the quality of your work also improves when your attention is undivided.
Block out time for yourself
Another counterintuitive way to save time in the long run is to block out personal time for yourself every day.
If you work every hour of every day — even if you’re just checking email during dinner or browsing through reports in bed — you’ll begin to feel constantly stressed and, eventually, burnt out.
You aren’t a robot, which means that you need time to unwind, relax, and think about something other than work. Block out regular time so that you can exercise and socialize without having work stresses still on the forefront of your mind.
You’ll soon find that this practice makes you productive when you are at work — and it might even help to break you out of a creative rut or a writer’s block that you would never have been able to just work straight through.
If you’ve got career goals that you want to achieve, but your working life feels overwhelmingly busy, it’s a good idea to take a step back and evaluate the situation. Rather than having way too many things to fit in, the issue may be the way you’re approaching them. Here are some great time management strategies that will help you to regain control.
Break Goals Down into Smaller Ones
If you feel immediately defeated every time you think about your to-do list for the week ahead, try to break those big goals down into smaller, more manageable sections that you can tackle one at a time. If you focus more of your energy on working through these miniature goals, you’ll stand a much better chance of accomplishing your larger, overarching ones. Take some time to write down your smaller targets for the week ahead, and what you need to do to achieve each little milestone. Try to foresee any issues that will take things off track or push you behind schedule. Set out plans for getting around these issues, and organise people who can support you if needed.
Use A Timetable
Setting yourself a timetable of the day can be very helpful, as it allows you to concentrate more on individual tasks, rather than having them all pile on at once. With time, you’ll also make it much easier to know what kind of tasks you can tackle, and how much time you have to leave yourself to meet certain deadlines. Trying to juggle the responsibilities of your day job, while keeping up with a demanding qualification like a healthcare administration bachelors, often requires strict time management. Just make sure you’re honest about how you spend your time. If you know you can’t resist a session on social media or reading the headlines, be sure to factor this in.
Step Back and Re-evaluate
You may know from experience that setting yourself goals isn’t the only factor that goes into accomplishing things. Even after structuring your goals like this, if you feel that you’re still procrastinating over a certain task, it’s a good idea to step back and ask yourself why. Do you need some kind of extra support to remain on-task? Perhaps the task itself simply doesn’t feel all that important to you, or it feels too far away from the end-game rewards you’re actually gunning for. Perhaps one of your miniature tasks isn’t actually necessary, and there’s some other, better solution which you should be engaging in.
Appreciate your Own Achievements
I saved the best tip until last: give yourself a break once in a while! Rather than dwelling on the things you haven’t achieved in the week for one reason or another, make a point of recognising what you have done. No matter how much you feel you’ve fallen short, there’s a fair chance that you’ve checked a lot of other things off in the process, and brought yourself at least a little bit closer to achieving your goal.
To be successful in today’s competitive business environment, your organization needs to be outfitted with tools that get them in-line with company goals. Thankfully there are software tools available that can get everyone on the same page and increase your company’s efficiency and output. Here are some of the most critical tools available for getting your organization operating at maximum efficiency:
Workforce Management Software
In way too many companies, time registration and employee management are still disconnected processes. Branch and even inter-office set-ups often use separate staff planning and management paperwork for each location, causing overlap and inefficiencies that decrease the bottom line. Without integrated employee management processes, it is impossible for those in charge to see the whole organization and to manipulate it for the best benefit of the company. This includes things like checking that staffing costs comply with the budget, verifying that enough staff are in the right place during busy periods and identifying errors and duplicitous activity in a timely manner. Workforce management software alleviates all of these issues and many more within your organization. You can automate functions such as pay rules, work rules, leave management, scheduling and attendance, union contracts, overtime reporting, and many more relating to managing your workforce. Workforce management software becomes a central tool for all workforce management activities. It provides real-time data, visibility, and even forecasting abilities that allow you to make better administrative decisions about your staff. Workforce management software helps businesses:
- Improve Overall Business Performance
- Increase Compliance
- Efficient Scheduling
- Save Money / Reduce Costs
Business Strategy Software
Simply put, business strategy planning determines where an organization is doing over any time period, how it will drive itself to any desired destination, and the measures it will use to determine when and whether it has arrived. Business strategy software helps teams set short and long-term goals, identify potential obstacles, and prioritize plans, timelines, and tasks for implementation. There is a particular focus on monitoring and measuring results; making course corrections as necessary. Business strategy software focuses on tracking and reporting budgets and operational measures, and enables companies to:
- Analyze and visualize your strategic market position
- Identify the most attractive markets
- Objectively evaluate your competitive advantage
- Develop roadmap strategies for product introductions
- Manage the in-market product portfolio
- Align new initiatives to strategic goals
- Plan for alternative scenarios to manage uncertainty
Time Management Software
There are major benefits for implementing time management software within your organization. The most important and the most immediate advantage is that it keeps the employees accountable for how they spend their time at work. There are studies that confirm that billions of dollars are lost every year because staff is performing non-job related task during billable hours. In addition to tracking people, project time and resources, time management software provides employees access to companywide processes, as well as project specific forms and information, and automated notifications and reminders, in an integrated and consistent software design, thereby reducing time spent communicating important information and enforcing rules. And administrators gain access to real time reporting and oversight. Time management software provides the following benefits:
- More accurate project scheduling
- Helps with on-time delivery
- Reduces your project costs
- Allows you to focus your process improvement efforts on the more important tasks
- Better work flow
- Increases efficiency
- Create realistic budgets
- Eliminate unnecessary tasks and activities
- Keep priorities properly aligned
- Effectively assign needed administrative or other support
Studying on the internet has made it possible for lots of people with other life commitments to get the college education they want to pursue their dreams, such as online business programs that can help people who want to be entrepreneurs or executives, vocational programs for people with a certain field they’d love to work in, and IT courses for those who want a career in tech. People choose online study for a lot of reasons – it can be much cheaper than attending a college, and can also allow them to keep working or stay at home with their family. However, while it does make a good balance between study and other aspects of life more easily achievable, you do need to be able to manage your time well to be able to get the most from your online course while fitting it around your family life.
Here are three rules to try imposing on yourself to help with your time management when you are doing an online business degree or other course with an online university:
‘Book’ Your Study Time
If you make a study schedule (which everybody should), treat those times in your calendar when you are set to study as being times when you are booked up, as if you were at an appointment or working, even if you’ll just be at home. Talk about time that way to friends and family, who may just assume that because you are at home, you are available to chat or do stuff with them.
Your Course Is Never a Low Priority
Even if you are doing your course at your own pace and don’t have to finish in a fixed time, you want to get the benefits of doing it in terms of your career or business idea as soon as you can, right? If so, then you should make it a rule that your course is a priority that you don’t drop just because something else came up. View your scheduled study sessions as just as much ‘hard’ appointments as other things you wouldn’t drop except for in an emergency, like work or attending your child’s big game or dance recital. If you treat it as that important, you should be able to ‘show up’ for each study session you book with yourself and not be tempted by possible alternatives to studying.
You’ll Never Plan All Nighters
A third good rule to adopt is that you will never treat ‘staying up all night’ as an option. While it, of course, is, the idea that you could do, it means you might be tempted to push back other study sessions, or not book in enough of them, thinking you can just work all night closer to that exam or date when your paper is due. Most students have done this, and know how horrible it is, so make it a rule that you will not treat it as an option to stay up all night in the future to avoid doing work immediately.
By following these rules you should have an easier time managing your schedule as an online student.