Wasted time or time that is not properly managed is irreplaceable. KIRSTY O’CALLAGHAN looks at choice management and how by using time effectively every female business owner can improve their overall profit and performance, both personally and professionally.
Do you feel inundated with many tasks each day, at work and at home, including emails, letters, phone calls, faxes, visitors, customers, family, and many other commitments and then some more?
Working hard and being effective are two entirely different things. Working smarter not harder is where to start. This means being both effective, doing the right things, and efficient, doing things in the right order.
A combination of both and an understanding of the 3 D’s will prove to be a successful formula for you and free up much needed time in your day.
What are the 3 D’s?
Do – These are the tasks you have to do yourself. Once you have identified these things you can then:
Prioritise tasks in order of importance and urgency.
Group ‘like’ tasks together, for example, all phone calls, appointments, housework etc.
Make the best of your prime time, for example, when do you have the most energy during the day or the least interruptions?
Regularly check your to do list and ask yourself, “What is the best use of my time right now?”
Update your diary and/or to do list daily. Tick off what you get done and transfer the remaining tasks to the next day’s list or diary.
Delegate – Delegating is a skill that once learnt can be one of the most beneficial ‘tools in your tool box’. Delegating does not mean just offloading a task to someone else because you couldn’t be bothered doing it, or are unsure if you can do it. Delegating is about helping others as well as yourself.
Helping others – by delegating you are actually telling others that you trust them. You are also allowing them to learn a new skill. This is not only a skill to use in a work situation but also at home. Everyone will gain a better understanding of how things are done as well as being part of the ‘team’. Delegating gives others responsibility, whilst accountability is still yours.
Helping yourself – once a task is delegated this frees you up to concentrate on the tasks at hand that you have to do. If you are finding it hard to ‘let go’ of tasks, for many reasons including the fear of not being noticed as a ‘super, important and busy person’, think of the time you could be saving and giving others the opportunity to learn something new and be appreciated for it.
Dump – This involves looking at your day, the tasks set for you and all incoming requests of your time and then deciding what you really need to do. For example, it can take up to an hour daily to read all the ‘wonderful, warm and fuzzy or funny’ emails that are sent to you but is this taking you closer to your goals, do you have the time or is the world going to end if you don’t read them?
If your prioritised to do list does not allow you the time to do this, then dump them. If an hour being present with your family or friends is more important, then dump. This doesn’t just go for emails, it can be drop in visitors or clients, unexpected requests on your time from others or a home chore that can be put off.