Another year is close to an end and it’s time to recollect on the list of time management mistakes you created this past year. Do you have one? Is it lengthy? When was the last time you truly stopped to ask yourself, “How well do I manage my time?” Most of us continue, day by day, without second guessing our schedules or the way we blindly progress through a work day. Rather than “trying harder” or just doing the same thing over and over again, have you ever considered the fact that you may be overloaded and your time management is affecting you more than you know?
Here’s a quick test. Think back to the last meeting you had with a manager, an employee, or even a personal appointment. Were you nervously and habitually checking your smartphone during this time or did you actually leave it unattended for the entire duration? Truly dig in deep with this question. Can you actually sit at a doctor’s appointment without reaching for your purse or into your pocket at every single “ding” or “ping’ you hear? A “lol” may be a given here, but a serious question that needs to be addressed for every manager or employee in this day and age is “are you managing technology or is it managing you?
Including our use of technology, many of us know that we could be managing our time more effectively; but it can be difficult to identify the mistakes that we’re making, and to know how we could improve. It’s one thing to be responsible for managing a personal schedule, but a completely different thing when given the task of managing other’s time as well. As a manager, when is the last time you checked whether or not you have enough uninterrupted time to make informed decisions about you and the employees in your workplace?
If your time management skills are not a priority within your workplace, you’re facing a long road ahead when it comes to implementing creative strategies to take your business to the next level. You see, if you don’t break up the dreaded “system” that so many people face 5 days a week, 4 weeks per month and roughly 260 days per year, your small business will struggle to transition with the ever changing times that is “work” today.
Here are a few quick tips to avoid a time management rut for you and your employees:
Hire a Creative Person to Run the Show
So you just hired the “right person” for your small business. You can’t be happier. This new hire is competent, successful and comes with a great recommendation. But, is this person creative? A creative person behaves differently than the average employee. A creative employee brings ideas, thinks outside of the box and is continuously looking for ways to improve a given area of a small business, or the entire business altogether.
Trust Your Instinct
It’s a given that managers strive to hire trustworthy individuals. But, we all know nothing is certain. A standard background check really isn’t enough these days to assure an employee is 100% trustworthy. There are many employees who write a good resume, but do not deliver once hired. Hiring smart is only the first step in dealing with issues of honesty and dependability as it’s up to you, as a small business owner, to create a solid foundation that deters unwelcome behavior within your workplace.
Don’t Procrastinate & Set Workplace Goals
Do you know where your small business will be six months from now? How about next holiday season? Are you procrastinating as a manager? If you’re an owner or manager of a small business, try setting a few goals to help overcome a sense of being “unaccomplished” as time passes by. When you know where your business is going, you become more confident in managing priorities, time and it becomes easier to delegate the necessary resources to meet expectations.
Try starting small. If you’re not having weekly meetings with your employees, start now. If you have “bigger” projects that require a larger amount of dedicated time, start with 30 minutes of your day on getting that project jump started. If there are complicated questions that you don’t have the answers to and need to research or seek the assistance of an external resource, start by making a phone call to gather some simple information. More times than not, a manager who procrastinates feels as if a task needs to be completed within a day or even within a few hours, leaving feelings of anxiousness and uncertainty. The end result? Nothing gets accomplished. Start small and build big, it’s really that simple.
Get Back to Time Management Basics
Building a strong small business requires you, as an owner or manager, to be present and engaged with your employees. Being bogged down on time with ineffective time management is most definitely a step in the wrong direction. If you’re finding that there are not enough hours in the day or you’re simply grasping at straws, it might be best for you to take a step back and start over with the basics. Simple time management tasks are no different than the ones you’ve probably heard over and over again, but the question of “are you doing anything with them” will always exist. A dedicated effort to manage time and stay on track so that you can achieve a set goal or objective for your small business is where it all starts.
A list of action items every single day can go a long way in any business and ultimately lead to better time management, however new situations, workplace developments, personal issues and technology malfunctions can occur causing us to change out daily action plans. As a small business owner or manager, this is where you have the opportunity to bring your business to a new level. Hire the people you need around you, trust your instincts with all business-related matters, quit procrastinating, and set a few business goals. We guarantee it will leave you wondering where all this extra time was before.
We can help with time management. ScheduleBase is online software for employee scheduling from Atlas Business Solutions, the leader in providing employee scheduling software. In little to no time, businesses can schedule employees online and communicate work schedules by email, text message and mobile device. Put your scheduling online and save time and money, while offering your employees easier access to their schedules and an effective communication tool for you and them.