Using Time to Your Advantage


Don’t be fooled by the calendar.  There are only as many days in the year as you make use of.  One man gets only a week’s value out of a year while another man gets a full year’s value out of a week. – Charles Richards

If time is money, it stands to reason that the more effectively you manage your time, the more money you’ll make.  And you can accomplish that by practicing time management.  Perhaps you currently apply your own brand of time management skills, and only you know whether or not they’re truly successful.  In this article, we’ll give you 7 more time management tips from which you can handpick those that you believe will work for you.

1. Prioritize

You should prioritize daily, evaluating which tasks are most important and timely.  That way you ensure that you’re not only productive but responsible, completing those jobs that need your attention first.

2. Recognize your shortcomings

What distracts you most?  Where are your skills lacking?  What tasks slow you down because you are unaware of more efficient ways to complete them?  Asking these types of questions can help you determine those weaknesses that are holding you back, and when you are able to determine your greatest weaknesses you can take the proper measures to turn them into strengths.

3. Avoid time traps

No profession is immune to time leaks—interruptions, distractions, tangents that lead you off-task and make it difficult to be productive.  And it is impossible to plug those time leaks unless you know what they are.  We suggest taking a week or so to log interruptions, noting all those things that distract you from your core work tasks, specifically billable hours.  Be sure to note the time, date, interrupter, and the subject of the interruption.  Once you have the information you can evaluate it.  Which interruptions could have been avoided?  Which were of no value?  Perhaps you have someone calling you for information that you could teach them to find themselves?  While the teaching moment may cost you an hour now, it may save you hours in the end.

4. Establish routines

When multi-tasking, you expend a lot of energy beginning and ending the different tasks you’re trying to juggle: taking files from drawers, looking up phone numbers, logging into your email.  You can save yourself time by performing similar tasks all at the same time: making phone calls, scheduling appointments, reviewing your clients’ status, and emailing.  In this, you don’t waste precious time building momentum only to shift gears to a different task.  And if you catch up on email in the morning and work on client accounts in the afternoon, the brain anticipates and prepares for those routine tasks.

5. Schedule down time

Regardless of your profession, if you work tirelessly without a break, you will quickly experience burnout.  You can avoid this by giving yourself regular stints of rest and relaxation.  All employees are allowed a 15-minute break for every four hours of work.  Do you allow yourself the same thing?  You’ll also find that taking regular vacations will help you rejuvenate your efforts, enabling you to better focus on your work when you’re open for business.  And while these vacations do not have to be long and expensive, they should give you sufficient time to recharge your professional battery.

6. Delegate and outsource when possible

Sometimes it just doesn’t make sense to do everything yourself.  It can be wise to delegate and outsource some those tasks that are too time-consuming for you, whether you partner with another professional to do them for you, or whether you assign the responsibility to someone within your organization.

7. Use time management tools

Whether you use a planner, a palm pilot or a software package that helps you schedule and manage time, it’s important that you take advantage of any technology that may help.

Being more aware of how you’re spending your time can be the first step in better managing it.  And as a business owner, you’ll find yourself sweetly surprised at all the time you save for yourself in the end once you start managing your time so that it no longer manages you.

Use Your Time to Create Greater Profitability

Designed specifically for the small business, In the Black contains 9 practical principles that will enable you to improve your business’s profitability.  And you don’t have to wait to complete the book before you can start applying these principles.  Working from personal experience and the experience of his father, President and CEO of Universal Accounting Center, Allen Bostrom, shares tips proven in countless businesses just like your own.  If you would like to run a more synchronized practice where all three business functions (accounting, marketing, and production) work together, this is the book for you.  See why In the Black has enabled countless small business owners to gain control of their businesses while helping their clients do the same.  Enjoy greater profitability and order your copy today!

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