June 8th, 2012
Whether you are a start-up entrepreneur or an established business owner, you probably wish there were more hours in the day. Success in business depends as much on how you manage your own and other people’s time, as it does on your commercial ability. Time is our most critical business business resource.
Time is money, in a very real sense. A broken promise or a late delivery is a cost not only to the reputation of the business or individual concerned but may incur additional costs all the way along the supply chain. Time management is of course self management. It is a combination of planning, realism, and self- awareness.
Ultimately, your business’ success and your reputation will depend on how smart you work and how effectively you manage your working day within the time frame you have chosen.
If you keep running out of time you need to consider the 3 Ds:
1.) Do – Take action to do, make a change and do something differently. Take back control and agree to outcomes on your terms
2.) Delegate – There are always time-consuming tasks that you can outsource to someone who will enjoy them and do them well
3.) Discipline – Be self-disciplined and introduce a system that will streamline your business process.
It may seem harmless to say time and time again (pardon the pun) “I don’t have time”, “I can’t make time”, “time just escapes me” or “time is not on my side” but these phrases betray a belief that time is in control of you, rather than the other way round. Instead they say “I can always make time”. If you think about time as if you can manufacture it at will you will always have enough.
If you were going on holiday tomorrow and knew you had no option but to get the essentials done today – what would your top priority be? Now do it! The chances are that you already know what you need to do to use your time more effectively. You just need to commit to making the change.
The 5 Ps for the perfect time management are:
1.) Planning – Plan the big picture. Know where you want to be not only today or this week but in five years time. Every decision you make should take you closer to, not further away from your goal.
2.) Prioritising – Be clear about which daily decisions are commercial necessities and which are “nice to have”. Being a business owner is not about taking the easy option, it is about making decisions that will make you a profit.
3.) Passing On – Don’t be an island. Build a team of associates, freelancers, or employees with complementary skills and brief them so well that you can rely on them to think like you and support you when necessary.
4.) Persistence – Be self-disciplined with yourself and persist in getting the answers you need from others who you are relying upon to deliver the end result.
5.) Project Management – Don’t leave anything to chance. Make sure there is a carefully managed progress schedule in place. If you are not a detail person, delegate the task to someone who will enjoy getting everything shipshape and arrange for them to keep you updated.