As CEO of Total Assist Group, I am very used to juggling a lot of tasks all at once. We are still a growing and expanding company, so I am incredibly involved with all aspects of the business, liaising with numerous teams and with lists of individuals wanting my input and feedback. Utilising efficient time management is absolutely vital in ensuring that I am productive during my working day, making sure that I stay in control and focus on the tasks that matter, knocking aside distractions that could cause me to procrastinate.
Time management is described as an “act or process of planning and exercising conscious control over the amount of time spent on specific activities, especially to increase effectiveness, efficiency or productivity.”
Here is my advice on how to use time management to get the most out of your office hours…
1) Define goals – Having a plan of action is so important. Firstly establish your big picture aims and goals. Once you know what direction you need to head in, you can plan how to get there by setting short and medium term targets that help you prioritise your workload to achieve long term ambitions.
2) Don’t underestimate to-do lists – Some people attempt to remember everything, but I would never advocate this. It is very useful to write down all tasks that need completing, firstly so that you don’t forget anything, but secondly so that you can clearly identify what tasks are urgent and which are important, so you can rank which jobs need to be done first. This creates almost a daily plan of action to ensure you do everything that needs doing. It is a good idea to just have one to-do list instead of multiple scattered bits of paper or calendars – it makes it ten times easier to keep track of your activities.
3) Work smarter – Focus on producing high quality, not high quantity. Yes, we all like to get more done, but if you are rushing just to add more to your tally then you are more likely to make mistakes, and will need to re-do or amend the task at a later date, creating more work for yourself. Concentrate on maintaining a high quality to ramp up productivity.
4) Utilise your lunch break – Stepping away from your computer screen for at least 30 minutes each day during your lunch break will make your more productive and efficient during the afternoon. After a refresher break, work feels less like a slog and you are able to re-inject your energy back into your workload.
5) Prioritise properly – You must define which tasks are important and allocate time to complete them without distraction. If you don’t, they will only build up until you have a stack of important and urgent tasks on your to-do list, and this will only cause you further stress. If you set aside time to complete a task, then stick to it.
And don’t forget…
Be innovative when it comes to business processes. Just because something has always been done a certain, maybe time consuming, way doesn’t mean it has to be done that way forever. If you see an opportunity to streamline company processes that would then free up time on your schedule whilst also being more efficient, then don’t be afraid to speak out.
Follow the 4 D’s of emails
Does the ping of your email inbox constantly tear your mind away from your current task? Make a decision on each email as soon as you open it to avoid constant distraction:
- Delete – about half of your emails can usually just be deleted straight away
- Do – small tasks that can be dealt with quickly or solved promptly should be done straight away to get them off your to-do list
- Delegate – if the task would be better dealt with by a different department or team member then don’t be afraid to pass it on. Send it to the relevant person there and then
- Defer – larger tasks that get sent through will take more time to tackle, so schedule in a time slot later in the day to complete the task…and stick to it
[testimonial name=”By Grant Finn” who=”CEO of Total Assist Group” imagelinks=”https://totalassist.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Grant125.jpg” vertical=”no”]”I have worked tirelessly at Total Assist Group for over 10 years now. I have overall responsibility for executing the continuous growth strategy of the company.”[/testimonial]