10 July 2019

As business leader, every minute is valuable so you need to be able to master your time

If you spend a typical amount of time at the office each day, you probably have somewhere between 8 and 12 hours to get work done. Beyond that is already an indication of overwork. The sad truth is that even if you’re at the office from dusk till dawn, it may seem like 24 hours is still not enough to finish everything on your daily checklist.

In previous posts, I have expounded on how time, not money, is the most valuable commodity you have when running a business. You can always make more money, but you can’t produce more time — you can’t add hours to day, or extend the weekday to create an 8-day week.

What you can do, however, is to save priceless minutes (or even hours!) from your daily routine so you can allot more time on what’s more urgent and important. When you’re able to manage your time effectively, you become more productive and you begin to feel the amount of work become lighter and more achievable.

You need to prepare yourself physically and mentally

The worst way to start your day is to show up to work in the morning and then try to figure out what you should do first. Not only would that be a enormous waste of time, it also often results in lousy task management.

If it’s not yet part of your routine, try to prepare the night before. Before you go to bed, grab your planner (or the Notepad app on your smartphone) and rank the top three things you need to get done the next day. Highlight things you shouldn’t forget while doing those tasks. When you arrive at the office in the morning, you’ll be able to dive right in and not waste a single minute in limbo.

Cancel useless meetings, or at least make sure it’s a quick one

We’ve all been a victim of office meetings that were a total waste of time. You might feel like you’re getting things done, but all you’re really doing is disrupting people from their work, dividing their days up into tiny fragments, and thwarting them from performing their jobs smoothly.

You’re the business leader; hence, the key to making meetings more efficient lies in your hands. Make your meetings more productive by clearing things up at the start. Simplify the goals and objectives of the meeting and make sure everyone knows what they need to know as soon as they go out the room. Also, sometimes sending out an email can achieve the same goal and can spare everyone the trouble.

Don’t stop yourself from taking a break

Believe it or not, you can actually save time by taking short breaks. Most business leaders think that the more they spend time working on a lot of things without pausing for a short breather, the more productive they become. In fact, what that does is make you feel more stressed later on, which will diminish the quality of your thinking and decision-making.

Allot a specific time of the day for emails

Sometimes we fall into the trap of diving into our emails right away: we open our inbox, go through some messages, and before we know it, we’ve spent hours replying to emails and working on things that shouldn’t have been part of the schedule. That creates a ripple effect which will ultimately have an impact on your entire day’s productivity.

Unless you’re waiting for a very important message, try logging out of your account for a specified amount of time or schedule in a day. For a lot of people, doing this helps them focus on their most urgent tasks and avoid getting sidetracked by emails that could be dealt with at a later time.

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