You know, one of my objectives for the new year is to double down on our education arm. Well, I say double down, actually at this point it’s probably more like ‘single’ down.
Oh yea, we have the online university – but it currently only has one class on it. A really good (if I do say so myself) Anti Harassment class. And yes, we are getting traction with that offering – after all, we’ve adapted classes for almost every state in the nation – the fact is, we have big plans to expand the university. With classes for first time managers, new hires, experienced leaders etc.
We want to be a one stop shop, for all the training needs of our HR consulting clients. But, since yours truly is chief class development officer, script writer, producer, director and on air talent – not to mention marketer …. well, that poses a problem….How am I going to get it all done?
Listen, I know I’m not alone in this type of situation. Sooner or later, we all find ourselves spending so much time doing (mostly things that should be delegated to someone else); and managing people (and in case you’re wondering, that’s why you need managers on your team – in a phrase “no, everyone should definitely NOT report directly to you”. So then, we don’t have any bandwidth to spend time on vision, strategy and the ‘you critical’ things.
Well today, we’re going to talk about time management – because as an entrepreneur or small business owner, it’s so easy to get caught up in the day-to-day tasks and lose sight of the bigger picture. So, I’m going to give you 7 quick tips to help you better manage your time.
“..the urgent is rarely important, and the important is rarely urgent. But if you’re not careful, the urgent will overtake the important almost every time.“
First up – prioritize your tasks. Make a list of everything you need to do and prioritize them based on importance and urgency. Oh, and here’s a pro tip: the urgent is rarely important, and the important is rarely urgent. But if you’re not careful, the urgent will overtake the important almost every time.
The important tasks are the ones that move the ball forward for your company. They’re big, they’re impactful. On any given day, you shouldn’t have more than 2 or 3 to take care of. Tackle the most important tasks and figure out a way to off-gas or otherwise eliminate those urgent tasks. They shouldn’t really be taking up any of your time. Delegate, outsource, automate – anything to get them off your plate. This will help make sure that you’re not wasting time on the loud but unimportant.
Try time blocking. Take full advantage of your calendar. Set aside dedicated time for admin tasks (things like eMail, social media, returning phone calls), and any other routine things you have on your plate. Carving out time for those tasks will free you up to stay focused when you’re working on important tasks, and avoid distractions.
When you dedicate specific time slots for specific things, you avoid multitasking (now I’ve said it before, and I’ll say again – multitasking is not a thing.) When you think you’re multitasking, you’re actually switch tasking – quickly moving from one thing to another and back again. And that’s a recipe for mediocre performance.
So, no matter if you’re stuck on paper, or wouldn’t leave home without your digital device, use your calendar to plan your day. It can help you stay organized, easily track deadlines and appointments, and block out time to actually get things done.
Along those same lines – use technology to your advantage. There are a ton of apps and tools available to help you manage your time. Things like time tracking software and project management tools. When you use technology, you can automate repetitive tasks and keep track of the time spent on different projects. I’ve included links to a few time tracking applications below.
So, one of your employees just told you that she’s pregnant. Feeling overwhelmed, with no idea where to start? After all, HR just got dumped on your plate. It’s not your zone of genius, and you don’t want it to be.
Managing California Leave is your answer. It’s an easy to understand course, that explains what the various leave programs are – without the HR gobbledy gook. And it gives you a clear step by step guide that walks you through the process of putting someone on leave
Yep, you get all the forms, notices and documents too. Everything you need to do it right and do it fast. After all, you don’t have all day – you have other things to do!
Use the link to get an Insider’s sneak peek And don’t worry – you’ve got this. And we’ve got you.
Eliminate distractions. Figure out what distracts you the most, and find ways to eliminate or minimize it. This may mean turning off your phone, closing unnecessary tabs on your computer, or working in a quiet environment. But, by eliminating distractions, you can increase your focus and productivity.
Take regular breaks. It’s important to take a break from work to prevent burnout and to keep your mind fresh. Take long breaks during the year, to help you recharge; and short breaks throughout the day to refocus. In fact you might look at using one of the time tracking applications to guide you in something like the Pomodoro technique – where you divide the workday into 25-minute chunks separated by five-minute breaks. And the breaks can be as simple as taking a walk outside, stretching, or even meditating for a few minutes. I’ve included a link to the Pomodoro tracker below.
Be flexible. Remember that things don’t always go as planned, and you may need to adjust your schedule or priorities. In fact, when you’re blocking out time, I’ve found it’s a great idea to block out some time for the unexpected. Listen, you know something is going to come up during the day that needs your attention, something you didn’t plan for. That’s why it’s a good idea to have ‘unexpected’ time blocked out. The when you have to deal with ‘the thing’ it won’t knock you off your time plan. And on the flip side, if ‘the thing’ doesn’t happen – well then, you get that time back!
Remember to be open to change and adapt as needed. Being flexible will allow you to respond quickly to unexpected situations and changes in your business.
And finally, take time for ‘you’. It’s important to make time for yourself and your personal life, whether it’s for exercise, hobbies, or spending time with family and friends (yes please). When you prioritize taking care of yourself, you can recharge and come back to work with renewed energy and focus.