Procrastination is something we all do at some point and of course natural for us to put off the difficult things and the least enjoyable. However, this activity, accompanied with a lack of self-discipline in managing our time, can be costly to us and our businesses.
Time management is an essential part of our role as business owners and the efficiency of our team. If we demonstrate a good use of our own time, it is natural for others to follow suit. It is part of being a good leader! After all, humans are physical beings that require a good balance of downtime and uptime to function properly, and we only have so many hours in each day in which to accomplish our tasks and goals.
An apt saying, I read recently…
“Time is really the only capital that any human being has, and the only thing a person can’t afford to lose”.
Some top tips for time management and how to get the best out of your day:
- Spend time recording your weekly activity. Record how much time you spend on activities that will improve the results in your business, and how much time you lose to nonsensical activities that bare no relationship with progress.
- Schedule specific time (with a beginning and end) for all activities that are important to achieving success – this might be brainstorming, reporting or making sales calls.
- Make sure at least half of your time is spent engaging in activities that contribute to your success and produce most of your results.
- Recognise that interruptions will happen and allow time for them within your schedule for that day, making sure they do not affect your important hours where you can make a positive difference to your business.
- Spend the last half an hour of the day, or thefirst half an hour of eachnew day, planning your day.
- Take a few minutes before and after every call or conversation to establish what you would like to achieve from the call and then whether you achieved your goal. Incremental performance improvements can positively impact on your bottom line
- If you have to get work done, don’t be afraid to ask not to be disturbed
- Practice ignoring the phone just because it is ringing,not responding to emails as soon as they come through and not giving colleagues your immediate attention unless it is absolutely critical for your business.
- Block out all social media and other distractions unless they are used for your business success.
Remember: It’s impossible to get everything done. If you prioritiseyour work for the day before you start, you will make sure that the most important tasks and most productive tasks are actioned first. This is a critical activity in the search of business successand putting your tasks in order of importance and business gain is an absolute must!
As well as managing the time we have effectively, we also need to recognise why we procrastinate over certain tasks and what we can do to overcome wasting that valuable time.
Adopting methods that will help to stop wasting valuable time!
Procrastination can be a vicious pastime. By this I mean, if you want to overcome it you have to start working out why you are procrastinating (and this has many different guises); why are you postponing the work that needs to be doneand what are the reasons? Most likely is that you’re afraid of the end result and because you’re focussed on this, you don’t start work.
If you come across a difficult task you are struggling to start, which many of us in business experience every working day, here are a few tips to help kick start the process:
- If you’re putting the task off because you simply don’t have enough time to complete it in one go, break it down into manageable chunks. It will get done just the same.
- By planning your day and following it, to achieve everything you set out to by the end of the day, you will automatically reduce the amount of ‘wasted’ time
- Set the most difficult task for your most productive time of day, especially if that task relates to business improvement and possible positive impact on the bottom line
- Set yourself a reward, or time aside, to enjoy at the end of the task before getting on with the next activity.