Time management for business professionals

How do you manage your time?

Some people are good at this, some are great, and some are poor, all for different reasons.

Are you inundated with work? Is there a structure to your day or week in place? Where do you draw the lines with boundaries?

As a busy business professional the need of managing your time is crucial. If you find yourself working on a set task for a long period of time, you need to ask yourself “Is this task making the best use of my time?”

In this article, I share tips on how to manage your time more efficiently, as well as share a little exercise on how you can conduct a time review to achieve an ideal calendar!

  • Make a to-do-list – Plan your day, the night or day before. It will give you focus and a clear vision of what you need to achieve. This can be done in a notebook, diary, journal, or it can be done on your laptop; whatever works best for you!
  • Prioritise – By planning your day you will be able to see in what order you’ll need to complete your to-do-list. This will also help you identify what’s urgent vs what’s important. It can then be broken down into how long each of those tasks will take to complete and after that a re-assessment of that order may also need to be done.
  • Leave buffer time between tasks – Did you know the human brain needs a break after every 90 minutes of work to maintain the highest levels of concentration and motivation? That’s why it’s important to schedule a buffer time of 10-15-minute breaks between your tasks. You could go and make yourself a coffee or go for a walk. This gives you the time to recharge your mind before you jump back in again.
  • Minimise distractions – In this day and age our phones or laptops and other gadgets send us notifications for all sorts of reasons. The best way to minimise distractions is to pause the notifications for a period of time or put the sound on silent so that there isn’t a temptation to check it. Urgent things pop up and that’s part of life, things can always be put on hold to address urgent matters, then you can eventually circle back to what you were working on.
  • Stop procrastinating – When enforcing the tips above procrastination should be at a minimal level. It’s difficult to stay focused when people procrastinate, and it decreases productivity levels. This will increase your stress levels too. That’s why it’s important to plan your time to eliminate procrastination.

As an Online Business Manager, one of my services is to conduct a time audit of my client’s calendar. Here I can see where improvements can be made with your time, ensure suitable time has been allocated for important/urgent tasks, and suggest tasks that can be delegated or outsourced to free up your time.

Below are some steps on how you can create an ideal calendar for the week by conducting a time audit and review of your calendar.

First step – Conduct a time audit

  • First let’s look at your current schedule – is it overwhelming or includes meeting where you don’t need to be?
  • Are there meetings you can delegate, reduce your attendance time, or avoid altogether?
  • Is it possible to move the meeting to a virtual online meeting so you avoid leaving the office, or can you attend just a segment of the meeting then provide any comments or notes to the meeting secretary afterwards?

Next step – Work out where you spend your time

  • Now create a list of everything you need to do this week, including meetings and estimate how much time for each piece of work.
  • This includes any meetings that must take place from your current schedule – these are non-negotiable.
  • Don’t forget to schedule in time to work on your business, and inclusions of home life.
  • Now, if you have any time left over – create a list of other work or ideas you haven’t had time to work on and estimate how much time you think it will take.

Final step – Compile and create your schedule

  • Review your lists and work out what are the musts?
  • What do you need to work on and do you have any time left?
  • If there’s time left over, can you schedule in other work you want to work on?

Want to know more about how working with an Online Business Manager can save you time and energy?

Book your 30-minute call and I’ll answer all your burning questions.

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