We all know we only have 1440 minutes in a day and as a business owner there never seems to be enough time to do all the things you need to. So, how can you can make the best use of your time to achieve the best outcomes for your business? The key starting point is to recognize that every minute in your day is valuable and so every time you say ‘yes’ to something you are saying ‘no’ to everything else!
Here are 15 top tips from some highly successful business people that can help you to better manage your time for the best business outcomes.
#1 Time is your most valuable and scarcest resource – put value on your time and don’t let people “steal” it from you on trivial things. Take control!
#2 Identify your most important task (MIT) and do it first – use your time on that project or task that will have the biggest positive impact for your business. Get into the discipline of scheduling your time every day working on your MIT before anything else – you are at your cognitive best in the morning.
#3 Work from your calendar NOT a ‘to do’ list – a ‘to do’ list is a graveyard as 41% of these tasks never get done. So, to get something urgent done choose a day, time and duration, get it into your calendar and live by it!
#4 Overcome procrastination – develop strategies to stop yourself from putting things off for another day or time.
#5 There will always be something more to do – don’t keep working longer hours and forgetting to allocate some minutes for other important things like your health and wellbeing, family and relationships.
#6 Always carry a notebook – our minds are best used for processing information and ideas so don’t clutter it with these. Capture information from meetings, things you read or see and ideas you have in a notebook to free your mind for processing it.
#7 Control your inbox – email notifications demand your attention, create a distraction and get in the way of productivity so turn them off! Be intentional about when and how you deal with emails and phone calls. Choose a time to process them when it suits you best.
#8 Schedule and attend meetings as a last resort – Say no to as many meetings as possible and no to long meetings; do your deep important work in the morning and your collaborative work in the afternoon.
#9 Say no to everything that doesn’t support your immediate goals – only fill your calendar with things that help you attain these.
#10 Follow the 80:20 rule – 80% of results come from 20% of your activity so focus on that handful of tasks that get you the most results.
#11 Focus on your unique strengths and passion – do the things you do best and delegate or outsource other tasks to free up your time so you can focus on your MITs.
#12 Batch your work with recurring themes – innovative entrepreneurs assign different themes to their day and concentrate on one specific type of work at a time.
#13 If you can do a task in less than 5 minutes, do it immediately – use the “touch it once” principle – focus on a single task once and completely process it in that moment.
#14 Routinely use early mornings to strengthen your mind, your body and your spirit – your best productivity tip is to make the first hour of every day count by investing in yourself.
#15 Productivity is about energy and focus not time – spend more time single tasking and take more breaks; develop a sprint-rest-sprint-rest routine and take care of your body with plenty of water, cardio exercise, healthy food and good deep sleep.
Apply these guidelines to your business and life and see your productivity soar!
(Source: Cut the Crap Podcast – Episode #119 with Kevin Kruse)