Time management is an essential skill in any business; it allows work to get done effectively, reduces stress and helps ensure client satisfaction. However, if you’ve noticed that the timing seems off in your company, you’re probably wondering what you can do about it.
In this article, we’ll uncover the top signs of poor time management before going on to tell you exactly what you can do about it.
Signs of poor time management
These are the top poor time management signs to look for:
- Procrastination - You are carrying out less urgent tasks in preference to more urgent ones, or doing more pleasurable things in place of less pleasurable ones, and thus putting off impending tasks to a later time, sometimes to the "last minute" before a deadline.
- Rushed work - With so many deadlines looming it can be difficult to give due attention to the work that’s right in front of you, but it’s vital you do. Quality trumps quantity almost every time, so rushing your work isn’t a productive way of working and could lead to mistakes or overlooked errors.
- Missing deadlines - When the stress gets too much, and the work builds up, there’s only one end result – deadlines will be missed. Neither you or your team are superheroes and there is a human level of work you can reasonably be expected to do.
- Errors or poorly defined goals - If you consistently find errors or see that work is poorly done, this could indicate that not enough due care and attention has been paid to making sure your work is of the highest standard.
- Clocking in lots of overtime - This isn’t a healthy sign for you or your business; workers on the risk of burnout are less likely to be productive and more likely to need sick leave, so managing your time better to avoid this may be the key to productivity.
What you can do about it
While there is no one-size-fits-all solution to complete time management – we find a combined approach works best – here are our top tips for keeping your company in good shape:
1. Get your priorities in order
The first step in managing your time better is to set priorities, after all, you’re only human, and there is only so much you can do in one day. To maximize your productivity, prioritize your tasks in a list of most to least important, and pay close attention that no more than two ever hold the same spot.
Next set to-do lists for each and every day, try to make them reasonable and achievable, so you and your team feel satisfied with the day’s work.
2. Forget multitasking
This is a myth! Your mind can only lend its full concentration to one activity at a time. Focus on the task at hand, and you’ll notice an improvement in your work quality and productivity. And that means no quick mid-meeting emails, too.
3. Make your time visual
Use a calendar and set out your and your team’s day/week/month in a visual way. With this method you’ll see gaps in your schedule and where your day has been filled to the brim, allowing you to time manage more effectively.
4. Get those meeting in early
Once you’ve got to work and had that first cup of coffee, it’s time to start those meetings. This is when your brain is fresh and rested, and best ready to engage in a little mental tête-à-tête with your colleagues or partners. In addition, it often happens that time before vital meetings is wasted, so best get them out of the way early to improve your productivity.
5. Buffer your activities
If you work an eight-hour day, never plan activities to consume those entire eight hours. Aim for around four to six hours of super-productive working time. The rest? Call it buffer time; a space for emergencies and some time to relax and recharge.
6. Take a break and work when you are in “the zone”
You have that lunch hour for a reason – use it! We often do our best work when we are feeling our best, so in between the tasks, meetings, and projects. Take a moment to sit down or go for a short walk and relax. This will boost your productivity and allow you to work when you’re in the zone. Keeping you motivated and away from burnout.
7. Learn to say “no”
You can't please everyone and learning to say "no" can be the key to finding a healthy and successful balance-life balance for you and your team. The word "no" isn't something to be feared; it's about recognizing your limits and planning according to them, giving your team the best chance for success. In any case, that "no" doesn't have to be forever, it might also mean "now is not the right time."
8. Track your time
The final pillar of time management – tracking your time. Before you can start to evaluate how much time an activity takes, it's worthwhile taking a step back and monitoring just how long work is taking, in reality. This way you'll have a better understanding of what you can and can't do, and more so what is profitable and achievable for your business.
The final word
Poor time management can cause unnecessary stress and delays in any business – for you and your clients – avoid the problem before it happens and instigate good time management habits.
Everhour is ready to help. Get in touch to discover how we can improve your timekeeping and business management.