40 Business Time Management Hacks That Can Save Your Life
So many things to get done yet not enough time in the day to do them. How do you relieve the stress caused by “not enough time”?
The fact remains that time is not limitless. You can’t go out and buy it; working harder will not help create more of it; time is finite, and it is impossible to be increased or replaced.
When you come to the realization that time is a finite resource it may be easier for you to start being more hard-nosed in making decisions about the time that you do have.
Here is a list of 40 Time Management Hacks that WORK!!!
- Just Say “No”: Isn’t it about time you stopped saying “Yes“ to everything and start saying “No” instead? Start saying “No” to the things or people you do not wish to be involved with.
- Get Up on Time: Come on lazybones. Get your act on the road, even if you work from home… get up.
- Try to Be Early: Didn’t your mom tell you that the early bird gets the worm? Leave for appointments early and avoid the stress of traffic and hiccups along the way.
- Turn Off Technology: Well, that’s a new concept. “I thought technology was supposed to help”. Yes, it does but turn off all the notifications, bells, and whistles. Stay away from social media until a specific time. Turn the TV off as well. Just watch how your available time will increase.
- Understand Your Internal Clock: Find out how your body best reacts and use it to improve your productivity. Early riser, night owl, or somewhere in the middle. Find it and go with it.
- Make Lists: Lists work for everything so start using them.
- Avoid Meetings: I know you cannot avoid them all but just show up when it is necessary.
- Touch ‘It’ Only Once: Don’t leave things hanging out there. When you need to do something then do it. If you have a collection of emails that need responses, then get them done NOW.
- Be Realistic with Your Goals and Plans: Come on, you are not superman/superwoman. Set goals that you can get done, and allow adequate time.
- Set Time Limits: Get a clock with an alarm and use it. This will help you to avoid procrastination and spending too much time on things you like doing instead of things you should be doing.
- Remove Distractions: Shut the office door, and if you work from home, avoid having to do things like housework while you are working. Distractions can kill your workday.
- Differentiate Important from Non-Important Tasks: Take a real close look at what needs to be done and label them as urgent, or non-urgent, until they all have their label. Then process them accordingly.
- Use Technology: The calendar is the center of your life. Nothing gets done unless it is scheduled in your calendar that you can easily access on your phone.
- Abolish Urgency from Your Life: A lot of this comes from scheduling your time and avoiding interruptions and distractions that disrupt your schedule. Train those around you to respect your schedule.
- Have a Daily Action Plan: A Day that starts without a plan is akin to a ship without a rudder. No one knows where it will end up and it is uncontrollable.
Manage Your Emails
- Use Rules, filters, labels, and folders: Smarter people than you and I created these tools to help us, so learn how to use them effectively.
- Set specific times for checking emails: Don’t have your emails open all the time or receive notifications when you receive an email as they take away your focus and destroy your productivity.
- Read emails and take immediate action: If you put the action off your will waste time revisiting them and reduce your productivity.
- Create separate email addresses: Use different email addresses for different things such as newsletters and sign ups. Separate email addresses for customer service as well.
- Be free with your “Delete” key: It is not realistic to save all the “I will get to it later” information that we both know will never get read. Delete, Delete, Delete.
- Create a swipe file or hot keys for Automatic replies: If you have response that you use repeatedly, then create swipe files or hot keys for them.
- Copy tasks to your computer immediately: This is where having a Calendar and Project Management System can really help as you can copy tasks to them as soon as they happen.
Get Your Team (a team of one or a team of many) Involved
- Create a Shared Calendar: Wow, what a new concept. Share information with everyone so that the “right hand knows what the left hand is doing” LOL.
- Appoint Team Leaders: This is where you have people who can share responsibilities with you as each will have their own area of a project to care for and nurture.
- Set Meaningful Deadlines: Create a main deadline for your task but also set checkpoints A.K.A. mini deadlines, along the way so you can hold everyone accountable. You can use this system for all tasks that have main deadlines.
- Craft a Shared Vision: In other words, get everyone on the same page. You may only have one employee or many, the same applies here. Things are much easier when everyone is pulling in the same direction.
- Systemize everything; create S.O.P’s: S.O.P’s (Standard Operating Procedures) save you time, without a doubt. Even if there is only yourself in the business. Systemize anything you must do more than once in your business, from daily opening procedures to collecting accounts receivable.
- Delegate Responsibility: delegate, delegate, delegate
- Allow everyone to contribute: Let’s face it, not all your ideas work and contributions from everyone not only gets you more ideas but also helps create open dialogue. You remain the decision maker.
Get ‘Stupid’ for Some Mindless Time
- All work and no play will not only make you a dull character but a highly stressed and quite ineffective business owner as well. Taking time each day to be mindless works wonders for time management and productivity.
- Walk, Walk, Walk
- Read, Read, Read
- Play a video game
- Learn to Knit
- Learn to Paint
- Play golf, or tennis, or something.
- Get on a trampoline
- Hop into the hot tub
- Get a real massage
Like I said in the beginning, time is “finite” and there is no way to add hours to a day. However, good time management will allow you to do more and be more effective with the 24 hours that we are given each day.