Maximizing Time: How To Use This Vital Resource Effectively In Your Business
For a business to be successful, it will need to manage a whole host of resources correctly. However, no resource is so vital to the ultimate success and longevity of your company than time.
The funny thing is that so many of us forget to treat our time and our employees as the critical resource it is. Instead, wasting it indiscriminately and costing ourselves vast amounts of money at the same time.
Fortunately, there are strategies that you can apply to manage better and maximize the resource of time in your business. Could you keep reading to find out what they are?
Set goals at the top of the day
A straightforward yet highly effective way to use the resource of time effectively in your business is to begin every day by setting goals. Now, you may think this is simply a matter of looking at your to-do list and working out which items you wish to cross off before the end of the day.
However, to truly use your time to its best effect, things are a little more complex than this. First of all, when looking at your to-do list, it’s important to identify and prioritize the tasks that are most important and urgent. Urgency is easy to determine as it is defined by the due date, yet importance may not always seem to be clear.
The good news is you can use a few tactics to help you define which task has the most significance. The first of these strategies is to use the values of your business. If a task is a way of expressing one of the values that your company is founded on, it will be important to complete. An example of this is if you have been a green business as a value, and one of your tasks was to arrange for a recycling bin to be installed.
Another way to determine the importance of each task is to consider how much value they offer your business. For example, if you have to choose between a call to a customer that regularly buys in bulk and getting some filing done, it’s the former that should take precedence.
Last of all, another effective strategy for deciding which task to attack first is the ‘eat the frog’ method. In this analogy, the frog represents the most challenging task of the day.
Completing the most challenging task first will provide a sense of achievement to yourself that will help keep you motivated for the rest of the day. A day that, because of your previous actions, should mostly) all be downhill from that first task.
Maximizing Time: Don’t do it yourself
If you want to use time effectively in your business, doing everything yourself is a big no-no. Unfortunately, many managers and owners fall into this habit because they are afraid to relinquish control of the task, lest their employees do it wrong.
Of course, if you fear that you cannot trust your employees, there are bigger problems at work, including substandard recruitment and disciplinary procedures, which must be looked at so you feel comfortable delegating tasks.
Alternatively, another option is to automate as many physical and online tasks as possible. Indeed, automation of tasks has many benefits, including increased accuracy, even when the task is repeated over and over.
It also frees up your staff to focus on more complex and nuanced jobs, which are likely to have a bigger impact on your bottom line.
Maximizing Time: Be proactive and get ahead of the problem
Sometimes being responsive in business is a good thing. For example, if a customer or employee has a complaint, being responsive to this can solve the issue, help them feel heard, and prevent the problem from recurring and causing further trouble.
However, only responsively operating your business is a bad idea. The reason for this is you will only ever be dealing with problems as they occur, or ‘fire fighting’ as it is known.
Of course, this is not only a very stressful way to run your business but also prevents you from taking action, which means you can avoid some problems altogether.
Indeed, there are many issues with being proactive, and getting ahead of things in your business can pay off. The first is when it comes to IT and keeping your systems updated regularly. In fact, by ensuring that you are always running the most up-to-date system, you will have the strongest security possible. After all, each update will contain measures to deal with the latest security threats.
Additionally, taking a proactive approach to your company vehicles is a smart move. This is because by replacing the engines in your vans and lorries, something you can click here to read more about, you can avoid breakdowns while they are in use. Thereby also avoiding wasting your drivers’ time, halting productivity, and delaying the delivery of your product or service to your customers.
You can only focus for so long ( and the same applies to your employees)
Finally, if you wish to use time effectively in your business, you must understand that humans can only focus for so long without seeing a dip in their productivity. This means that making people ( and yourself) work for hours without breaks is never a good idea.
Instead, encouraging a culture of focused bursts of work is far more effective. A simple way to put this into practice is to introduce your employees to the Pomodoro method, which entails working for around 25 mins, and then taking a quick 5-minute break.
It’s an approach that many find results in excellent productivity, despite taking many more breaks, making it a very efficient use of time.
Maximizing Time: Final thoughts
When it comes to how you will use the time your business has at its disposal, some forethought and planning can help you maximize this vital resource and ensure maximum profitability and success. After all, time is money!