Time management is a contentious subject. Many of the prescriptions of experts and consultants can be both counter-intuitive and critical of how workplaces are actually governed. Its maxims tend to take issue with micromanagement and call for people to take control of their own time, work and personal lives. Ultimately, time management is a personal goal process, but there are few key areas which everyone should consider. These three golden rules are designed for both entrepreneurs and their staff and should help you to become more productive than ever.
- THE TO-DO LIST
- Every successful time manager has a to-do list of some sort and entrepreneurs are no exception. Sir Richard Branson believes in lists so much that he adorned the inner sleeves of his biography with them. To – do lists are typically done daily and are meant to help us focus on what is urgent and important. To-do lists are great for left-brain logical types, but for some they can be a problem. An action list of three things should work for most people. Write down three things you want to achieve and focus on those first. Take it as far as you can and then move on to the next thing.
- ONE TASK AT A TIME
- Concentration works best when it is focused on task in hand. Constant interruptions break our train of thought and increase the time it takes to do tasks. It is not always possible to prevent every interruption, but do not float between tasks. Also, try to limit distractions and persuade others to leave you alone when you are busy.
- TAKE A BREAK
- The final rule of time management is the most paradoxical of them all – do nothing. If we work around the clock, we become less productive, creative and prone to making costly mistakes. Everyone needs sleep, some time off and a little time to step back and think. Everybody needs to take breaks, although the exact amount of time required is a personal decision. Business owners who get too sucked into the world of work can dramatically reduce their effectiveness. A lack of sleep can reduce productivity by as much as 80 percent and mistakes are bound to follow. Entrepreneurs are liable to burning out and should step back before they do so.