As a business owner, there are probably times when you feel there just aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done which needs doing. All the while that you’re bemoaning the inadequate number of available hours, you’re probably also thinking that you’re losing money, or at least losing out on earning more of it.
This isn’t all in your imagination – a great deal of data has been compiled to support the notion that people aren’t nearly as effective on the job as they could be. A recent study prepared by Microsoft discovered that workers actually use only about 60% of the time available in any given work day. If you extend this notion, it would mean that workers are only actually productive on three days out of a normal five-day workweek. Surely there must be ways to increase the percentage of productive time spent on the job!
Forget about multi-tasking
Believe it or not, experts have demonstrated that less than 3% of all people at work can be occupied with at least two activities, and perform both of them well. Conversely, the same experts claim that employee productivity is at least doubled by focusing on a single activity, in terms of both performance and work output. What this means for you, is that you should address all necessary tasks for a given day sequentially, so that you can do a good job on each of them.
A great many people on the job are actually slaves to their inbox, routinely checking it time and time again throughout the day. In order to avoid this very obvious loss of time, it might be a good idea to allocate time in the morning and again in the afternoon to check your email. Very few communications are so time-critical that they need to be addressed within an hour or so. By establishing set times to review all communications, you’ll be sure to catch anything important in a timely manner, while avoiding all that time waste from too-frequent checking.
Establish a written action plan
Studies have shown that committing your daily plan to writing makes it much more likely that you will actually achieve the tasks you’ve scheduled for that day. That’s a big reason behind the effectiveness of day planners, and if you get into the habit of consulting yours regularly, chances are you’ll not only save yourself a lot of time, but you’ll probably accomplish most or all of the items you identified for the day.
Organize your work space
It’s very true that a cluttered work space leads to reduction of productivity and a loss of focus on the job. There are a number of ways that working in a chaotic environment hinders the timely accomplishment of work tasks, and all those little inefficiencies add up to a big time loss at the end of the day. On the other hand, having a very orderly work area makes things easier to find, it eliminates clutter that impedes progress, and it has a kind of domino effect in allowing your thinking and your approach to work to become more organized as well.
If you’d like help identifying ways you can turn your optimize your time management, we’re here to help! Lowcountry Business Advisors in Greater Charleston, SC strives to use our experience and passion to help business people achieve their goals. Let’s meet for coffee and see how we can work together.