Do you fight with Father Time daily? If you’re like the rest of us, I’m sure you do. Entrepreneurs are always battling with time and how to make the most of it. You want to stay productive and cut down the amount of downtime you spend. You need to do this with your staff as well, in order to truly maximize the amount of time you spend on your business.
We look to experts in time management for some of our wisdom. But we also refer back to many techniques that we use regularly which have proven to work for us. Of course, like we’ve said before, there is no right or wrong answer to this age old question of time management; just a lot of good tips that might help you manage your time more wisely.
Brian Tracy has been advising business owners on time management for many decades. He has a video on YouTube that offers four major techniques for managing your time.
- Positive self-talk/affirmations-Positive self-talk and affirmations are things you say to yourself to program your mind for success. If you tell yourself that you are in control of your time, the theory is that you will eventually start to believe it.
- Visualization– Another well-known psychological technique is Visualization. Based on the Behavioral technique of therapy, this technique requires you to visualize a positive environment such as a beach scene or other calming situation if you experience anxiety. Regarding time management, you could see yourself being in better control of your time and picture your perfect time management routine. Then put it into practice.
- Meditation/quiet solitary time– An extension of the Visualization technique is Meditation. If you have some solitary time to reflect and think about how you manage time, you are going to be more likely to improve on it. Unlike what some think, meditation is not a time of sleep or restfulness. It is a state of relaxed focus where priorities and ideas become clearer.
- Experience– Experience is the best teacher. By putting good time management techniques in place and practicing them daily, they will eventually become a positive habit that will last a lifetime.
He makes the point that you must first decide that you are going to take control of your organization and your time. He believes in using the psychology of self-talk to control your impulses and to learn to be determined to focus on being productive. The psychological idea behind this is “we are what we think we are.”
Young Entrepreneurs is a YouTube group that offers tips for business owners. They focus on creating a brainstorming list of what you want to spend more time on.
They advise you to put three columns of information as a planning guide for spending your time. By becoming more focused on the things that have to be done, you can divide your time into three categories that will help you better manage it. One suggestion is to get errands that are in a common area at the same time. It’s a matter of precise organization and planning ahead of time.
I was in a live conference the other day with Daymond John, branding expert, author of The Brand Within, and co-star of ABC’s “Shark Tank,” recommends the following tips for managing your time and being more productive.
- Use a daily “To Do” list
- Make a daily schedule and stick to it
- Stay organized (on computer and offline)
This is a simple, practical list that anyone could have thought of, but it is at the heart of productivity. Daymond is great at organizing his computer files (which he showed us during the conference) and I was wishing I could be as organized as that. Many of us are more like an over creative “Steve Jobs” type that seems too busy to get organized. But it is important to being able to wrestle your day into management time units.
Perhaps the key is to make time for better organization. In fact, put it on your schedule. It just might work!
Entrepreneur Magazine offers some tips with this video on time management. They argue that you should not strive to manage clock time but rather work on increasing your mental time.
You should create and manage your time and become masters of your own time. They base this on a system that involves keeping records of the use of your time, monitoring how you plan and carry out various tasks, and think about results.
They also recommend scheduling breaks or interrupted time between tasks so that you won’t lose time if your work takes longer than usual. It will also give you break time which you need to recharge your batteries.
Let’s Talk, a bilingual teaching tool, offers some interesting time management skills on their YouTube channel. Some of the tips they offer include understanding time and how to track how you use it. Much of the strategy involved becoming more aware of how you are using time.
You should analyze and improve the work habits that you have regarding your productivity level and limit interruptions during the work day. If you are managing a real-world office, you will also have to analyze the time management of your employees and staff as well.
Observe how your staff is using their time. Then plan strategies to change the bad habits and curbing down time in the work place. They advise you to divide tasks into 30-minute chunks and analyzing what happens in each 30-minute block. If you are a business manager, you need to aim for spending 60% or more of your time with group-free tasks to be the most productive.
Earl Nightingale, the well-known speaker, writer, and motivational speaker, stated that you should focus on goals primarily when it comes to scheduling and managing your time. You don’t want to fall back into old habits that have proven not to get you what you want.
He says the best advice is to “Live successfully one day at a time.” This doesn’t mean you should not look to the future. But that a successful life and career is composed of the value of each day that builds on another over time.
All of these tips may help you to get more organized, become more conscious of your time management choices, and plan your productive time. The best advise we can give is to do what works best for you. Plan the work and work the plan. Make a conscious effort as to how you will spend your day. Make sure most of your time is going toward fulfilling your business goals.
If you live one day at a time and apply this skills and tips, you may find that you, too, will build your business with time management at the ladder that gets you to the top.