“Everything requires time. All work or play uses up time. Yet most people take for granted this unique, irreplaceable, and necessary resource. Nothing else, perhaps, distinguishes effective Leaders as much as their management of time. Time is all you can control. Master your time and you master your life.” – Wiz4.biz
Startup Topics: Schedule, Assess, Focus, Group, Pro-crastination, use Peak Energy, Communicate to Team, Eliminate (-), Personal Life, Take a Break !!!
“How can I manage my time better?” is a question that crops up with alarming regularity among Startup Founders. For Founders, this can have serious implications on their business. Luckily, there are steps they can take to prevent a productivity gap from opening.
PLAN !!! “It’s extremely important to think ahead, and plan day-to-day operations in your Startup. In business, you are constantly over-loaded with information & deliverables while managing people, so interruptions are inevitable. When you focus on completing what’s the most important, pre-planned task, it allows you to avoid interruptions or unnecessary distractions.”
#1. Stick to a Schedule and track everything
CEO of Square and Founder of Twitter, Jack Dorsey, explains the importance of being disciplined when it comes to his time. Having successfully worked full-time at two companies (yes, 16-hour work days), Dorsey attributes his thriving time management on what he calls “Theme-ing” his days. This is how Jack does it: [What would work for you?]
Monday: management and directional meetings
Tuesday: product development & strategy
Wednesday: marketing, communications & growth
Thursday: your team and partnerships
Friday: company, culture & recruitment
Saturday: catch-up and other personal interests
Sunday: physical activity, reflection
Additionally, Jack recognizes the necessity of scheduling and making time for interruptions (flexibility is part of the job) if they do not impose on the day’s broader objectives.
#2. Assess your Time expenditure & measure your Productivity
Make a list of the tasks you do regularly, and those which consume most of your time. Assess how you could be under-taking them more efficiently. If you’ve allocated an amount of time to a task, and it took you longer than expected, what are the reasons? Take a short time after every task, call or conversation and decide whether the results were achieved, and if not, what can be done to assure different results in future.
Priorities constantly change, so for startups, it’s important to ask these questions on a regular basis, especially during the busy times of the year. Which one of these tasks will have the biggest impact on my business? What can I get done that will speed up or make other work unnecessary?
#3. Focus on what you do “best”.
There’s no need to do everything yourself. Use your startup team, and delegate tasks to those who you trust in meeting & exceeding expectations. Richard Branson shares this perspective: “You must understand the art of delegation. I have to be good at helping people run the individual businesses, and I have to be willing to step back. The company must be set up, so it can continue without me.”
#4. Group Routine Activities & Interruptions
If it’s a mundane time-consumer, like checking your Email, assign yourself times to perform these tasks. A recent productivity survey reported that more than 70 % admit to checking their personal emails at work. 33% even check it three times a day!
Prioritizing. It’s important to prioritize tasks that are holding people up from doing their job. Start with these, so that the team can get on with their day. Making sure you have un-interrupted blocks of time, is also key to ensuring that you remain productive throughout the day – rather than waiting for ‘quiet time’ because that’s rarely available.
#5. Stop Pro-crastination (& Amateur-crastination) + Multi-tasking
Pro-crastination. If you regularly avoid doing certain tasks, take the time to assess why. Pro-crastination leads to rushed work, mistakes (& ultimately), uncertainty about the quality of work. It’s best to schedule more time than needed for tasks that put you off.
Don’t Multi-Task: focusing on one task at a time will multiply your productivity, work output & creativity. If a thought pops into your head – rather than stopping what you’re doing to find a solution to that nagging query – write it down, to do later.
#6. Utilize your Peak Energy time
Whether you’re an early riser or late-starter, use peak times of energy to optimize work output and save time. For some, targeting early mornings is key. Reserve the beginning of your day, when no one is there to distract you, for your most important activities, which can include everything from working out & meditation to writing new pitches & strategically thinking about my business.
#7. Keep your Team in the Hoop (whoops, that’s NBA) Loop
Meet with your team first thing in the morning for a short Planning session to discuss & prioritize the day’s tasks. Communicate with your Team when you are unable to make a meeting or complete a task. You’ll end up wasting their time with being unable to plan their time efficiently – which is a loss for the business (ie, especially at the critical year-end period). Setting a strict time limit on meetings is another way to be productive and not waste your time.
#8. Eliminate the Negative (-)
The last thing your Startup needs is a (-) working environment, so it is critical to set out the importance of this to your team members. Negative (-) employees drain the motivation & creativity out of lots on the team room. Assess the impact of their (-) behavior, how it compares to their colleagues, then make clear the debilitating effect that such negativity has on the wider business. Context and the impact of personal behavior can often shake team members into becoming more aware of their outlook.
#9. Don’t neglect your Personal Life
Manage the time of the people you care about most. An unhappy home life will creep its way into your business. Physical fitness & personal interests are important, too (ie, hobby). Balancing work & home will leave you more satisfied & calm. Both new & experienced entrepreneurs testify to the im-measurable gains by focusing on your personal life.
Balance. Life is like a game in which you are juggling five balls in the air: “You name them — work, family, health, friends & faith. You’re trying to keep all of these in the air at the same time. You will soon understand that work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back; but the other four balls — family, health, friends, & spirit — are made of glass. If you drop one of these, they will be irrevocably scuffed, marked, nicked, damaged or even shattered. They will never be the same. You must understand that and strive for balance in your life.
#10 Give your-self a Break!
Working in a different atmosphere, like a Starbucks coffee shop or Deli café, will revitalize you. Inhabiting a “third space” by removing yourself from the distractions of work & home environ, will result in a more productive time.
Comments: Do you have any other Time Management Tips?
from Startup Nation.com 05 Dec 17 enhanced by Peter/CXO Wiz4.biz