The Time Management Rulebook: How To Find An Extra Hour

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There’s never enough time in a day if you’re a boss. The tasks add up, and it’s essential to get on top of them to avoid mismanagement. For the most part, leaders focus on trying to be more productive so that they get more done in an average day than most. While it’s an excellent idea, it’s flawed because being in charge is about working smarter, not harder.

The key is to find more time. You might not believe it possible, yet the majority of workers, bosses included, waste seconds due to their routine. Smooth it out and you’ll find that there is no need to rush whatsoever. Then, you can use this resource to take care of important stuff, such as building strong relationships and identifying the weak areas of the company. It beats laying people off and making massive cuts, especially when both of these tactics have been proved to be ineffective.

So, if you feel as if there aren’t enough hours in a day, don’t worry because this post has got you covered. Below are the seven tips straight out of the time management rulebook to help you find one extra hour per day. If you work at it, you might end up saving more than sixty minutes.

Start A Very Important To-Do List

A to-do list should be a staple of your day because it sets out the tasks you need to complete. However, the problem with a generic one is that it includes things which aren’t essential. Bosses can get stuck in a rut as they find busyness productive, yet it’s a waste of your precious time because critical jobs are swept under the carpet, the ones that need completing ASAP.

With a very important to-do list, you can focus on the jobs that you know are critical to the company. Like a regular schedule, the essential stuff goes at the top and everything else ranks in order underneath. With that in mind, it’s vital to split up the tasks objectively. Yes, half a day sending emails never feels productive, yet you might need to correspond with leads or clients. Don’t underestimate the effectiveness of a task based on how easy it seems or its duration.

As with everything you do, you should review your to-do list. Analyzing it will help you break the process down into a fine art so that every second is accounted for.

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Don’t Get Lost In An Email Hole

While email is a productive tool, it’s also a time-waster. Before you know it, half of the day has passed and all you’ve done is tinker with your signature at the bottom of the page. Yes, it’s good to look professional, but it’s not the end of the world, and you’ve got other things to tick off your to-do list, too.

Finding the balance between checking and answering emails and ignoring them is tough. Ignore the wrong client or customer and you might make them angry enough to bounce, all over an electronic piece of mail. A useful tool is a daily quota. Putting a figure on how many times you’re allowed to check your inbox should keep you on track. Three is a sound number – in the morning, afternoon and late afternoon.

Also, try and stay away from your alerts. You will get a notification on every device that’s linked to your account, so keep them to a minimum. Another option is to turn off the ones that aren’t essential. If you’re using your laptop, do you need your cell phone on the desk where it can grab your attention?

Sync Your CRM

Almost every 21st-century company uses a customer relationship management service. With the help of effective CRM, it’s easier to generate and follow-up leads and log customer information. Data has never been as crucial as it has today, so it’s vital that you have a piece of software or an app that collects every last detail.

In the past, businesses had to input the information manually because the system didn’t sync to regular software. Copper has changed the game by linking its CRM to your business’s Gmail account. Everything that is processed by the email platform is logged and the data is translated to show you the latest customer patterns and trends. An example is an unread email. A quality CRM shows you when a recipient has opened your email so that you can follow-up and make a conversion.

Synced management platforms do all the hard work and allow you to cherry-pick the relevant info for the benefit of the business.

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Keep Meetings Brief

A meeting is a business staple regardless of the size. You might be a small startup or a huge conglomerate; this is one thing you both share. However, traditional meetings are outdated and old-fashioned and a waste of time. Think about it – how often do you have to wait for everyone to enter the room, stop talking and listen? Usually, the answer is every time, and it can equate to wasting 10 to 15 minutes per day.

Running the most effective meeting possible is the goal, and it’s not a pipedream. Forbes has an excellent list you should look at, but their most straightforward tactic is to purge the guest list. Only employees who are essential to the meeting should be there; everyone else needs to be productive. Another cool feature of a modern meeting is a ban on electronics. Stopping the presentation to wait for a ringtone to stop beeping is an unnecessary interruption you can eradicate with a blanket ban.

If you call a meeting for one reason, make sure it’s to add value. Any event that doesn’t commit to updating people or taking steps forward isn’t of service to you or the company.

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Modify Your Shift

Bosses are so invested in the company that they often work through their breaks to make time, but this tactic is a bad move. Without a point in the day where you can relax and recharge, your productivity will tank. Regular breaks give the brain a rest so that you can come back focused and ready to work harder after a 15-minute rest. Plus, you need food to top-up your energy levels and maintain the engine that is your body.

Instead, you should cut the fat from your work breaks. Usually, everybody goes for lunch at the same time – between 12 and 1 o’clock. As a result, you will waste time lining up for your lunch as the number of people at the counter will be high. To save time, modify your shift so that you have a late lunch break and avoid the crowds. Going one hour later will make your break more efficient than ever and help you to resist the urge to procrastinate. When in doubt, consult Google.

Monitor your screen time, too. Getting stuck in a YouTube rut during a long lunch isn’t a rare occurrence these days. Switch off by all means, but be ready to work again when the clock strikes the hour mark.

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Pull The Trigger

Gone are the days when managers made decisions based on their gut. Essentially, old-school bosses were arrogant and ignorant enough to dismiss the data and go with what they thought was best. As a leader who has grown up with the big data revolution, you aren’t as narrow-minded.

The problem, however, is the flip side of the coin. The new generation of leaders often misses out on opportunities because they need to collect every little piece of data. The devil is in the detail, which is why you want the full picture before you pull the trigger. Sadly, this mentality is a waste on two levels: time and opportunities. With that in mind, consider drawing a line in the sand so that you never miss out again. Today, the consensus is that 70% to 75% of the data is enough to make an informed decision. Any more and you’ll never give the green light.

Don’t hamstring yourself. There are too many people trying to do the company harm to add your good self to the list.

Work In Chunks

Dividing the day into chunks of time lets you focus on the things you find the most important. As well as a very important to-do list, you can select which areas of the company need your attention and pair them up with VIP tasks.

How does this trick help you save time? For the most part, it keeps you away from people you don’t need to interact with other than to complete the job at hand. Bosses get bogged down with office politics and niggly issues that aren’t worth your time. Creating time chunks enables you to swerve them and lock on to the people who need and value your time.

To be uber-efficient, make the deadlines as tight as possible so that you’re working quickly and moving onto the next task.

The key to time management is respect. When you realize that your time is as great an asset as anything else, you won’t fritter it away as much.