You have heard it said time and again, in fact to the point where it’s become cliché, “Time is money.” Truer words were never spoken and the successful SME will live by this golden rule. Following are 7 time saving tips that can work to your benefit to help you stay sane through the insanity of the normal business day and increase your bottom line all at the same time.
1. Set Daily Goals
The first thing you should do each and every day upon arrival at your office is to set goals for that day. However, be realistic. You can’t expect to complete an entire project or twenty page report all in one sitting but you can break it down to manageable segments that you can reasonably expect to complete before clocking out.
2. Prioritise Your Time
Whilst setting those goals for the day, remember to prioritise your time. Learn to prioritise by urgency and importance. There are some things you would ‘like’ to get done, but if time isn’t permitting, make a note and set those tasks aside. Do first what is urgent, then important, then if time is permitting, start those tasks that need to get done but ‘could’ be left a day or two.
3. Set Deadlines & Keep Track of Time
As ‘jobs’ come across your desk, the first thing you should do is set a realistic deadline. Glance at your goals and time schedule for the day. If time is permitting, by all means set a deadline for day’s end. If not, jot it down for the next day or the day after. One thing you will also want to do is keep track of the time you spend on your tasks. Remember, time really is money and if you are spending more time than a project is worth, you are wasting your time and doing nothing for the bottom line of your business.
4. Stay on Task – Avoid Distractions
It’s easier said than done, but it is vital to stay on task and avoid distractions whenever possible. If this means locking your door and putting a ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign up, then so be it. If you have urgent or important duties to perform, your staff should understand. Let your secretary field your calls and only answer emails when time is permitting. Too much emphasis has been placed on multi-tasking and that has led many directors to get lost in distractions. Instead, just remember the golden rule! Time is money so don’t fall prey to unnecessary distractions.
5. Reduce Stress – Focus on Only What Is Important
Learn to delegate whenever possible if you can’t get to certain tasks. Focus on what is urgent and important and let others handle other routine tasks. You are the director/boss and you can only do so much. Want to reduce stress? The best way to do that is to delegate some of your responsibilities to trusted staff. This will give you fewer headaches and a whole lot less deadline-related stress.
6. Centrally File Important Data and Projects
One of the most amazing advances in technology within recent years has been Cloud based computing. This is especially beneficial for busy HR departments and directors who just can’t seem to keep their fingers on important documents and project data. Cloud based HR software allows you to keep both employee and client files all in one centrally located place which can be accessed from literally anywhere you have internet access. Imagine being able to work on payroll or client communications whilst on the train ride home!
7. Learn to Say “No!”
Finally, you really must learn how to say no. Most professionals in administrative positions are already overburdened. If you find that you continually take on more than you can humanly manage, just say no! It might not be easy at first but once you see just how much time it saves you by refusing tasks that aren’t all that important, you will be a firm believer.
So, even though cliché, time really is money. Learn to use it wisely and watch your bottom line grow.