This week’s guest blog is from Helen Winder, Managing Director of Transire Ltd.
Time management might seem like a straight-forward concept but every now and then we need to assess and improve our time management to enhance our productivity. Here are a few tips for improving your time management so you can achieve more in your day.
Manage your emails
With studies showing that 50% of people check email more than once an hour and 35% checking email every 15 minutes, it’s easy to spend more time than needed checking email. You can increase your product by managing your email. Keep your work email address separate from your personal email so that you do not get unwanted distractions during your work time.
Instead of checking emails frequently, check them at certain times per day. Looking at your emails 2-3 times a day might work best for you. Instead of going back to the email later, respond to the email at the time or reading. Procrastination adds up and will not help you get your emails down to zero! If you can’t respond to the email immediately add it on your to-do list.
Manage your phone calls
If you are distracted by the phone ringing and conversations when you could be spending that precious time on other tasks, set up a call-forwarding or automated answering service. To avoid losing business and customers put a call handling service in place. You can set this up year-round, or for short periods when you are busy/need extra assistance. Transire Ltd specialises in call handling with our ‘receptionists’ trained in your company knowledge to field and respond to calls appropriately and professionally on your behalf.
Have a daily plan – prioritise
Plan your day the night before or first thing in the morning. Have your to-do list in a visible / easy to access place so that when you start your working day you know exactly what you have to do that day. Be flexible by allowing a certain amount of time per day for unexpected distractions that pop up. Put time limits on each task so that you know what time you will be finishing one task and when you will start working on the other.
Make sure your to-do list prioritises
Have a list that is in order of the clear actions you need to do to achieve your tasks. Your lists should have to-dos (actions such as call Helen to discuss call handling), projects with the multiple steps you will take to achieve these projects, and other miscellaneous tasks which may not be as imperative but still needs to be actioned at some stage.
Manage your workload
If you can’t carry out all the tasks on your to-do lists in time to reach deadlines, consider delegating tasks to someone else. If you are an employee speak to your manager about sharing the tasks with another staff member to free up your time. If you run a business you might consider outsourcing the work so you have more time available to focus on other areas of your business. Learn to say no to more than you can handle. If distractions creep in during the day put them aside until a later period. Add them to your to-do list to attend to in the last or first 30 minutes of your working day.
Automated systems are now saving us both time and money. Use a computer or a system to do things for you automatically. Synchronise your computer calendar with your phone calendar. Set up your bills on auto-pay so you don’t have to pay them manually and have templates in place for responding to similar emails, an automated voicemail or personalised call handling service or use social media management tools such as Hootsuite to manage your posts.
Track your time
Try free online time tracking systems such as Egg Timer to keep you focused and accountable for your time well spent.
Outsource as many administration tasks as you can so you can spend your time on the business. Learn to delegate and share tasks with others. Find professionals who are trained and have expertise in niche areas you have little time for. Outsourcing also means you do not have to pay for office rental costs to house staff, instead you can outsource to external contractors or office support companies who can assist you remotely while helping grow and represent your business.
Visit Transire Limited to find out if they can help you.