As a business coach, I’m always teaching my clients about the Principle of Abundance.
The idea is to foster an abundant mindset so you always believe there is plenty of everything in the world. Whether it be raw materials, wealth, opportunities, relationships – there are no shortages. You simply need to look for and want those things hard enough.
However, there is ONE exception to this.
Time is the one finite resource that many business owners struggle with. Often, it can feel as if there’s never enough time to get all of your tasks done, especially when you’re wearing multiple hats and dealing with so many different stakeholders.
So, is it really possible to manage your time effectively? How can you still effectively achieve abundant results, despite time being a limited resource?
Is it ‘time management’ or ‘task management’?
How often do you find yourself saying “I wish I had more time” or “there’s not enough time to finish all this work”?
Generally, people will say back, “you need to practise better time management.”
Time management refers to the coordination and prioritisation of tasks to maximise your effectiveness and achieve results with the time you have. However, most people tend to assume that time management is the process of planning and organising tasks to cram more into less time.
The problem with this approach, though, is that it’s centred on task management rather than time management. This shifts the focus towards squeezing more tasks into a limited amount of time in an attempt to increase productivity. While this may work for some, attempting to carry out so many tasks in so little time can lead to low quality work and eventual burnout.
A large task load like this can easily sap your energy levels and negatively impact your performance as a leader and a decision-maker – both of which are detrimental to the success of your business and your staff.
So, what’s the answer?
To effectively manage your time and make substantial progress towards your goals, you must first reframe your mindset around how you spend your time.
Time management is about making the right decisions
We’ve been taught that time management is about doing more in less time. However, rather than treating time as a checklist, perhaps it’s better to treat it as an investment.
To efficiently allocate your time, energy and resources, you must first identify the activities that bring about the greatest returns. Pareto’s Principle, or the 80/20 rule, can help. Simply concentrate on the 20% of the work that will bring about 80% of the positive impact to your organisation.
When you invest your time in these valuable activities, you can improve your productivity while no longer feeling limited by time.
If you still need help deciding which tasks to focus on, consider these 3 key questions:
“What will be the impact of my decision to spend my time this way?”
Determine what needs to be done by the end of each day, so you can spend your time doing the things that require the most critical attention.
You can also ask yourself if completing a specific task is beneficial to your business or whether you’re better off pursuing other things. Weighing up the impact will allow you to prioritise your time.
“How competent am I at doing this task?”
Don’t hesitate to delegate tasks to your team. This will save you time and effort while ensuring the activity is completed by someone who specialises in it.
That way, you’re freeing your time up and they’ll probably be able to do it more effectively, making everyone more efficient.
“How much energy does this task give back to me?”
Being generally busy is not always the same as being productive. So, it’s necessary to determine which tasks leave you with a sense of accomplishment, and which ones leave you feeling anxious and stressed. If a task is getting in your way and sapping your energy, maybe it’s time to move on to more meaningful things.
Remember: invest your finite time in the tasks and activities that will deliver the greatest returns.
5 ways to spend your time more wisely
Once you can learn to effectively manage your time, you’ll be free to work on more things that can add exponential value to your business.
For instance, you’ll be able to address more pressing tasks, shift your priorities and drive your organisation’s growth. Some key areas to focus more time on that I would recommend include:
- Working on new business strategies and improving existing ones
- Developing your team’s skills and expertise
- Establishing and assessing short-term and long-term business plans
- Communicating your organisation’s vision and mission to reinforce staff commitment
- Generating ideas, asking for suggestions and encouraging feedback
Do you need help making better decisions around your time management?
Effective time management can help supercharge your business and boost your motivation levels every day.
By understanding your priorities and identifying the tasks that you’re passionate about, you’ll be able to increase your productivity and efficiency and accelerate your success.
As a Business Coach and Mentor, I work with business owners like you to help you achieve your business goals.
I can guide you in reassessing your time, optimising your tasks and identifying the ways that you can use your time to get the greatest returns.
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