Small and large business owners want to invest in both their business and themselves, so take these tips and change your actions, start investing with time management.
BE careful not to get major up in the minor things, which could and should be delegated to other people in the business. Sometimes we are prone to “DIY” activities, where you believe that it will be quicker for you to “Do It Yourself” than ask someone else to do it for you or delegate it to someone else.
Work On The Business/Work In The Business
THE biggest problem with this approach is that it stops you from Investing valuable time to work “ON” the business rather than where most business owners spend a majority of their hours working “IN” the business. So what do I mean when I say working “ON” the business? Activities such as reviewing your numbers from the previous week, month or quarter; looking at the targets for the current & future periods; reviewing the marketing plan for the next three or six months; setting planning day to complete team appraisals. For time management, being “ON” the business is absolutely crucial, particularly at this time of the year when we can review the performance for the previous ten months and look forward to planning for the New year, which is lurking just around the corner.
OUR recommendation is that you spend a minimum of one day every quarter to work on your business, on top of the hours you work on the business during a normal week. This day is a complete day away from the office and away from distractions, phones, emails and the needs of others. This 90 day planning day will make a significant difference to the control you have on the job and the team. This is an opportunity to set goals for you personally and for the business. Explore new ideas, review and reset targets, review your team and how they are performing are just a couple of the areas which you can work on this planning day.
ANOTHER key element of Time Management is allowing other people to control your time. Meetings are a good example of where we allow others to misuse our time! This is unacceptable but something that happens all too often. Is there someone in your business who always arrives late for meetings? Is there someone at every meeting distracted by a phone or a computer in front of them? These things only happen if you allow them to happen.
Use 5A’s rules on every meeting for time management by adopting a very simple approach
- Agenda – Ensure you have an Agenda for every meeting, circulated in advance to which others can add to.
- Agreement – Full agreement from everyone that they will be on time. Start and Finish on time!
- Attention – Full, undistracted attention from everyone. No phones on the table. No computers unless presenting.
- Action Plan – Every Meeting must end with an Action Plan, with owners and timelines.
- Accountability – There needs to be full Ownership and Accountability from everyone in the meeting. Critical point!
THE final element I would like to mention is the ability we have to say YES or NO. At times there is a tendency for us to say Yes to every request and add it to our ever-growing list of things to do. Sometimes the need to give a strong NO is a much better option than a wish YES for a number of reasons. 1. Allows the person asking to come up with an alternative option. 2. Allows you to focus on the things already on your To DO list. 3. Alerts people to the fact that you are not the automatic solution to everyone’s problems. All too often it is the person who can’t say No, is the person who struggles to finish any tasks because they become masters of juggling many balls at one time and yet not actually being able to complete things themselves as they keep getting more and more balls to juggle, adding pressure and stress to their roles in the business.
At ActionCOACH, looking at how we can manage our time is only one of the many areas of business expertise we look at with our clients. Time Mastery is just one area within one of our Six Steps to Business Mastery which also includes areas such as Destination Mastery (Where are you looking to go), Money Mastery (How close are you to your numbers) and Delivery Mastery (How consistently do you and your team service your customers)
For more information on how we can help you with your business challenges drop me a mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or head over to our website www.ActionCOACH.ie for further information.