We all have 24 hours in a day, but how is it that some people manage to get so much done? Time management is a difficulty encountered by almost all entrepreneurs, but the good news is that it is a learned skill. These five tips will help you plan your time and get more out of each working day.
Audit your time
The first step in improving your time management is to determine how you use your existing time. Once you establish a baseline of where your time is spent, you will be able to set goals and track improvements. It also gives you a clear picture of just how much time is spent on tasks that do not have any bearing on your business or personal success, such as mindlessly scrolling through Facebook.
The easiest way to audit your time is to use a free app such as Toggl or Clockify and record every task you undertake over the period of a week. At the end of the week, create a report through the apps and carefully look through to see which activities can be reduced to make time for others, or which activities you should scrap altogether.
Use an online calendar
Online calendars are fantastic time management tools as they can be accessed from every device and shared with your team and family. Google, Outlook and Apple each have their own calendar tools, and there are also numerous online options if you prefer a different style.
Block out time in your calendar for each task you need to complete in the day. For example, perhaps you will reply to emails from 10-11am and then again at 3-3:30pm. Once you have set a timeslot for a task, stick to it and don’t allow any extra time. If you know you only have an hour to complete a task you will have a mental push to actually concentrate on that task, rather than multitasking or getting distracted.
Batch your work
Different tasks require different types of thinking. By completing similar tasks in batches, you avoid having to switch your brain into different modes and refocus throughout the day. For example, if you need to contact six clients for sales follow-ups, block out two hours of your time and contact all the clients in that period.
As mentioned above, switching between tasks means that your brain is unable to fully focus on the task at hand. Rather than multitasking, give each task your full attention, either in time blocks or until completion. You will find that you spend far less time on each task and are able to achieve higher quality output.
Learn to delegate or outsource
We like to think that we are the only person who can complete tasks in the “right” way. It can be difficult to give up control over tasks that we used to do, however training a staff member or outsourcing these tasks can be a huge timesaver. Delegating and outsourcing lessen your workload, giving you back the time to spend on more important tasks. Instead of writing SOAs or client notes, you could delegate those tasks and spend the time being with your clients or chasing future business.
Delegating or outsourcing doesn’t just save you time, it can also save you money. ComplyX provides dedicated outsourced staff to financial planners and others in the finance industry. Based on figures from last year, we saved our clients up to $38,000 per year per paraplanner, simply by outsourcing their work to suitably experienced staff.
The five tips above will help you improve your time management so that you can spend it on the tasks important to your business. If you are interested in learning how ComplyX can help you take back your time and spend more time with clients, please contact us to discuss our services and packages.