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6 Time Management Tips to Boost Productivity

Julia RichardsDecember 2020
6 Time Management Tips to Boost Productivity

Time is money, and if you don’t know how to manage time in your business, then you’re going to end up losing both.

Time management has two main facets:

  • Being more efficient in the time you have.
  • Finding more time.

In this article, we’ll cover some ways that you can do both.

 

1. Work smarter, harder

To become more efficient in the time you have, it is necessary to work smarter.

Working smarter doesn’t only mean utilising the latest and greatest gadgets. It also means optimising your workflows so that there is minimum lost time as work moves from one department to another in the organisation.

Optimising workflows might be as simple as setting up some policies, such as agreeing to a maximum number of minutes per meeting or scheduling breaks between major tasks so people’s minds are fresh.

As for technology to work smarter, the list is almost endless. But here are some of the key types of tools that you can invest in that might assist you in working smarter:

  • Project management software such as Trello and Monday.com
  • Team collaboration software such as Dropbox Teams, Microsoft Teams or Slack.
  • Time tracking software such as Toggl.
  • Social Media scheduling tools like Hootsuite and Buffer.
  • DIY design tools like Canva.com.

2. Smarten up your email

Email can be a phenomenal time-waster.

Depending on your position in the business, you might want to turn off notifications for your emails and only check on them at predesignated scheduled times.

CEOs and C-suite execs usually shouldn’t need to check their emails instantly. One option is to filter out all emails from anyone except your PA who could forward you only the most urgent matters to be dealt with.

All email clients, including online ones, allow you to create filters. There are limitless options to what types of filters can be created in order to automatically route anything without you even having to look at it.

Mail parsers are another great tool to save time in processing emails.

 

3. Hire a PA

A good PA is worth their weight in gold. They’ll keep the distractions off your plate and forward you only what’s necessary.

A competent PA can save you time (and, therefore, money) by the truckload.

As for finding this mythically perfect PA, only use the CV as a guide. Don’t miss out on hiring someone new to the market because they don’t have enough experience down on paper. A newcomer who is rearing to make a name for themselves and really succeed is ten times better than someone with decades of experience but who carries a massive chip on their shoulder.

A CV should serve as a guideline, not the main determiner of who to hire.

 

4. Invest in a simple CRM

CRMs need to be simple.

A CRM which does “anything and everything” might actually end up costing you time as a result of its overcomplexity.

The complexity of your CRM should be determined by the number of employees you have and the number of clients you expect to serve in the near future.

A B2C company that sells phone accessories would need a highly sophisticated and deeply integrated CRM because it needs to have thousands of customers to be profitable.

A B2B business that handles only a few contracts a year will only need the smallest amount of administration to keep tabs on ongoing deals.

Don’t let your CRM take valuable time away from you.

 

5. Automate as you go along, not all at once

Trying to automate every single thing in your office in order to “save time”, but actually losing time because of it is counterproductive.

Your priority in business should be to:

  • Promote your services (or products), so you can…
  • Sell your services (or products), so you can…
  • Deliver those services (or products).

Sales and delivery make the world of business go round.

Any time you’re doing something else other than trying to get sales and then delivering those sales, you’re at cross-purposes with the fundamental reason for your business’s existence.

Automation for automation’s sake only ends up costing time that could be better spent simply doing the job manually.

If you find some repetitive task is taking too much time, automate it. Maybe even automate something else while you’re at it.

But leave it at that until you spot some other time-consumer and fix that.

The trick to saving time effectively is to move bit by bit, step by step, not all at once.

 

6. Plan your day, plan your week

“Know before you go” and you’ll save yourself a lot of wasted time.

Things can crop up at any time, but if you set yourself a predetermined goal for the day and week and then constantly return to that goal, you’ll find that you are a lot more effective in how you use your time.

The modern world of notifications and constantly connected devices can lead us astray far more often than is healthy.

By planning your day and week, you’ll stay on track and really get effective in the time you have!

Time is something you never get back, so use it wisely.

 

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Julia Richards

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