5 Time management tips for better business

As business owners, we’ve all said these words – ‘if only there were more hours in the day/week/month/year’.

Psst, we’ll let you in on the worst kept secret – there can be!

It might take some changes to your business and workings methods/processes, however, if it enables you to become more efficient and grow your business, then all for the greater good.

Change No 1 – Learning to say ‘no’

What a position to be in, turning work away. It is natural to say yes to everything. Fill the funnel; chase leads; build relationships – the hamster wheel is non-stop. Alongside this, have you ever stopped to notice what might be missing? If you keep doing the same things over and over, the results will always be the same.

So, what needs to change?

Possible resolutions

  • Price increase – work with people who respect your service and are willing to pay for it.
  • Reduce your working hours – this can be achieved without necessarily decreasing your income/turnover.
  • Outsource/subcontract – identify good partners who will compliment your business.

As we said, radical but maybe now is the time to take action.

Change No 2 – Learning to walk away

Again, a nice position to be in, possibly not one that everyone will be familiar with, but the following scenario will potentially be.  Have you ever worked with someone who evokes the wrong response/emotion when you see their name appear on your phone/in your Inbox? If the answer is yes, and the reaction is happening more and more, then maybe the relationship has run its course.

Possible resolutions

  • Scope creep – usually associated with projects, however, if your brief was for particular tasks, are you now delivering above and beyond? This can tie into price increase in Change No 1.
  • SLA (service level agreement) – from the outset, be clear about working practices so there’s no misunderstanding for either party.
  • Cut ties – not the recommended resolution, however, if all else fails, maybe you’re just not the right match for each other.

Change No 3 – Be decisive

We all procrastinate – fact! It might be about different things – mowing the lawn, cleaning the car, starting that key piece of work.

When it comes to work, this also involves deadlines, so can have a knock on to other people.  Why put yourself under undue pressure and not necessarily show your work (and yourself) to the best of your capability?

Possible resolutions

  • Bitesize pieces – break the task in question down into smaller tasks. Reward yourself each time you complete an element.
  • Lists, lists and more lists – making a list of the steps involved in achieving the task can in itself be rewarding and provide a sense of accomplishment.
  • Environment – try working somewhere else, maybe the local coffee shop. It need only be for 1-2 hours, might help to get the creativity flowing.

Change No 4 – Adopt a Method

Time management is about mindset – does yours need to change?

There have been many studies done on various techniques. You may not need to adopt them all and they might take some time (pardon the pun), to incorporate into your everyday routine. After all, it takes 21 days to form a new habit apparently.

  • Have a master list and time planner
The planner may be paper or electronic.  Whichever is the best for you, it will enable you to look ahead by day>week>month>year.  You will also be able to capture lists, tasks and goals.
  • Use the list to structure workload
A structured list will increase productivity.  Write down every single task you wish to achieve that day (see Change 3 for more information). A rule of thumb is that efficiency is increased by 25% from the first day you start using a list.
  • Prioritise and order
It’s all well and good having a list.  However, if it is just a list of tasks listed in the order of enjoyment, this will again lead to procrastination. Remember the Pareto Principle, the 80/20 rule.  Basically, this means that 80% of your results will come from 20% of your efforts.
  • Tools and systems
In today’s technological world, there are no end of these designed to provide support.  Talk to friends and colleagues, read reviews before making a final decision.  There also tends to be 30-day trials to take advantage of.
  • Get organised!
You may wish to read David Allen Time Management.  The approach taken is more about the way we use our time, as opposed to time management.
Time Management tips

Change No 5 – Review your offering

Multi-tasking; adapting to your situation; flitting – not a skill for all.  It takes a lot of head space to move from one client/task to another.  What if you served just one kind of client?

Offering a niche service will also be supported by streamlined processes and resources.  It also helps with brand identity, which can be complimented by clearer messaging.  For example, if you wanted your garden landscaping, would you approach the local handyman?

How can we help

Talk to us at FJCM to understand in greater detail how we can work together to support your business and what can potentially be outsourced, saving you time and money to invest back into your business.