Did you know that 90 percent of managers waste their time on ineffective activities? An interesting study has reached the conclusion after examining the behavior of senior executives and managers in large companies like Lufthansa, Sony and LG Electronics.
When asked about the resource that they’re missing the most, many managers will report that it is time. In the study mentioned above, however, 30 percent of the managers were found to be procrastinators and 20 percent were disengaged.
Effective time management does require conscious changes of one’s routine but the benefits can be incredible.
If you’re an entrepreneur who’s struggling to fit all responsibilities in a busy daily routine, you may be wondering about what you’re doing wrong. There could be several issues contributing to ineffective time management. To address most of these problems, you may want to try following these productivity steps.
Maintain a Degree of Flexibility
Rigidity in terms of your work schedule is one of the best ways to make sure that your time management efforts are ineffective.
Even if you have a solid plan and a schedule for the day, you should still expect the unexpected.
Emergencies do happen and you should be capable of accommodating them. If you’re not ready for a little bit of flexibility, you will quickly get work backed up. Thus, keep a bit of time in your daily schedule reserved for something you haven’t anticipated.
Deal with Distractions
As already mentioned, procrastination is a serious issue.
In a corporate environment, procrastination can result from several things – the lack of commitment, scattering oneself too thin in an attempt to handle low priority tasks first and succumbing to distractions.
As an entrepreneur, you don’t have to constantly check your email. Take a look at it in the morning and the evening to maintain the effectiveness of communication.
Other distractions can easily be addressed through the selection of the right tools.
An app like FocusMe provides better control over internet activities and website access. It can also be used to do better scheduling, create black and whitelists in terms of internet activities and do effective time tracking.
Learn to Delegate
The best entrepreneurs aren’t the ones who can do everything on their own. Success is heavily dependent on the effective delegation of tasks to the right people.
A solid delegation strategy is one of the most important prerequisites for effective time management.
You have an entire team and each member has the knowledge and the capacity to handle a specific task. Even if you believe that you can do a better job on your own (a common phenomenon among entrepreneurs), you should still appoint the task to the right team member. Chances are that you’ll see a high quality income and you’ll be freeing up a lot of time to address something else.
Learn to let go. Otherwise, you will be involved in microtasking rather than handling the strategic process that’s crucial for business development. Build a priority system and the tasks that appear down the line will be the ones to appoint to someone else.
Start with One Simple Task at a Time
Multitasking? No, it isn’t your friend.
The more you attempt to handle several things simultaneously, the more mediocre each individual outcome is going to be.
The entrepreneurs that manage to get the most done are the ones that focus on one simple task at a time.
Usually, you have to handle many massive and complex processes on a daily basis. If you view these as a whole, you’ll quickly feel overwhelmed and you’ll lose traction. Instead, break down each process into small, manageable milestones.
This approach will enable you to see progress – an essential for the maintenance of high levels of motivation. Accomplishing a quick and simple task will give you a head start and it will also put you in the mindset of accomplishment.
Take a Break
Struggling with the same task for hours at a time is not going to suddenly give you the solution. The more time you spend on a problem, the less likely you are to look at it in a creative way.
As illogical as this step may seem, you need to take frequent breaks in order to do effective time management.
The Principles of Scientific Management by Frederick W. Taylor is academic research that takes in consideration the phenomenon of taking frequent breaks to boost productivity. Through the research, Taylor proved though scientific and empirical observation that enough rest and good workplace environment can both contribute to better time management and getting more done within a predetermined timeframe.
If you feel that you’re stuck, you should take a quick break from the activity at hand. Something as simple as a five to 10-minute meditation session can help you clear your mind and attempt approaching the issue from a different angle.
Keep Long-Term Priorities in Mind
When you’re stuck in a specific managerial process, you may lose sight of the strategic goal that’s driving all corporate operations.
It’s very important to remind yourself of long-term priorities on a regular basis.
Day to day activities will quickly result in shortsightedness. When you’re too focused on mundane operations, you could make the wrong decisions or prioritize tasks that aren’t of key importance.
Revise your business plan every now and then and take a look at the KPIs you’ve pinpointed as most crucial. When you go back to this long-term strategy, you can easily pinpoint areas for improvement and opportunities for boosting everyday efficiency.
Success is dependent on being present and being involved. At the same time, you have a team that you can rely on. Learn to get these people involved in the process. Understand that your strategic input is much more important than handling irrelevant or minor day-to-day activities. Letting go of the routine will feel uncomfortable at first. Still, you should force yourself to break out of the habit. With time, you’ll find out that getting uncomfortable could actually promote a higher level of productivity and much more streamlined operations.