The Secret To Maximizing Your Time

One of the key qualities of a successful entrepreneur is the ability to be more productive than anyone else in the company. And to do that, you’ll have to learn how to maximize your time.

I’m sure you’ve heard people say, “I wish I had more time.” They jump from task to task and event to event at light speed, trying to find ways to accomplish more.

Some people seem to accomplish far more than others in their day, week, and lifetime. For instance, Benjamin Franklin was a successful author, politician, scientist, philosopher, printer, inventor, activist, and diplomat. His accomplishments are astounding. Benjamin Franklin is also credited for the statement; ‘Time is money.’

So, how did he find the time to accomplish so many things? The answer is effective time management.

And here’s the good news: Time is limited.

How is that good news? It’s good because it means that the playing field is level.

  • Everyone gets the same twenty-four hours in a day.
  • Your competition has no more hours in a day than you.
  • The richest man cannot buy even one more minute of time in a day.
  • Only you can manage yourself and activities more effectively.

In a typical forty-hour workweek, it’s estimated that the average person spends:

1.7 hours looking for things
1.0 hour rescheduling appointments and tasks
1.4 hours wasted because of rescheduled appointments and tasks
2.2 hours wasted because of disorganization and lack of priority

That is a total of over 6 hours wasted due to poor planning and a lack of organization.

When people are asked why they are disorganized, the number one reason given is: ‘I just don’t have the time.’

The fact is people choose to be disorganized. Most people could avoid wasting time by spending just two hours a week organizing and planning. In just two hours of planning, you could free an additional three to four hours every week.

Effective time management is about behavioral change. It’s about learning how to spend more time acting instead of reacting. The skills described herein will help you become better organized and manage time more effectively, which will increase productivity but only if you adapt the behavioral changes as outlined throughout this report.

The fact that most organizations do not have a time management program in place suggests that they do not feel that this is an issue that needs to be addressed. However, nothing affects the ability of a company to function and be productive more than the ability of its employees to use organizational skills to save time during a typical business day.

Companies must take action in order to encourage their employees to become more skilled in organization and time management. Even if you are an extremely organized person, all of your efforts will be wasted if your colleagues are not picking up where you leave off. There are several things you can do as a manager to encourage your staff to become more efficient managers of time.

Managing Your Employee’s Time

First, think of your employees’ time as an asset. It is a tangible asset that is worth a great deal of money and must be dealt with accordingly. Your job is to manage this incredibly valuable asset. You cannot assume that your employees know how to regulate their use of time on their own.

As a manager, it is your job to use the 40 hours per week an employee gives you in the most efficient manner possible.

Next, when you are hiring new employees, make sure to evaluate their time management skills. This is particularly important when the job position being filled will require self-regulation. You want to hire self-starters with good self-discipline.

Ask appropriate questions such as “How good are you at setting deadlines and meeting them?” Do ask previous employers about the candidate’s time management skills.

All of your employees should be working at their fullest capability. Down-sizing over the previous years has lead to the elimination of many assistant positions. Managers and executives are now forced to do their own clerical tasks. If they are performing these tasks on a regular basis, it would be more cost-effective to hire an hourly employee.

When an employee demonstrates above average time management skills, reinforce their actions. In other words, reward them for good behavior. Behavior that is noticed and pleasantly remembered is much more likely to be repeated. In addition, other employees will follow their example.

If you are a good time manager and have good organizational skills, share them with those around you. Teach them how to manage their time. You might begin by asking all employees to bring paper and a pen to meetings in order to take notes. This way they can transfer the items from your assignment list to their to-do list. Arrange meetings in which you refer back to the tasks that were given to them.

Meetings must be conducted in a time-conscious manner. An unorganized meeting can be one of the biggest drains a company has on productivity. If you have trouble believing this, calculate the wages you are paying all the people who are sitting in your next meeting. Meetings should begin on time. Otherwise, people will get into the habit of being late.

You should have an agenda. However, be flexible enough so that intellectual breakthroughs can occur. End the meeting after all of your goals have been addressed. Do not let it drag on any further than necessary. Let attendees begin work on the items discussed in the meeting instead of continuing to just talk about them.

Lastly, emphasize how important good time management is to the success of your organization. You could include time management tips in your newsletter. If your company does not have a newsletter, present these tips at staff meetings.

  • Provide time management training opportunities for your employees.
  • Purchase books and CD’s on the subject and make them available for use.
  • Conduct on-site organization seminars.
  • Provide employees with personal organizers, whether manual or electronic.

Making organization and time management visible at the work place will remind employees of the importance of these skills.

Time is a constant. When poor organizational skills lead to wasted time, this time cannot be retrieved. Each person in an organization needs to evaluate where their time is going on any given day and then implement a few time saving methods to overcome their biggest time wasters.

Implementation of too many techniques at one time can result in an employee spending more time organizing than working or becoming overwhelmed and just returning to their old ways out of frustration.

There are numerous time wasters in the work place. Indecision and procrastination are perhaps the two biggest offenders. However, they are closely followed by inefficiency, interruptions, unnecessary errors, crisis management, poor organization, ineffective meetings, micro-managing, failure to delegate and lack of policies, procedures or standards to be followed.


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