Top5 – Taking Control of Your Time

April 11, 2013
Time Management Managers Door

A recent survey by a large Australian company showed that their sales staff spent their time as follows:

  • Face-to-face selling   25%
  • Travelling and waiting   25%
  • Reports and paper work   22%
  • Telephone selling and prospecting  17%
  • Service calls 8%
  • Other  3%

50% of their sales staff time was spent away from the primary task of selling!

If you were to perform a similar survey for yourself, your staff or managers in your business what would you find?  How much time would your people be spending on the tasks they were actually employed for? You and your staff need every opportunity to work on the actions that will see you reach the goals and the goals the business sets for you and your team.  To do this successfully you need to be in control of your time.

Below are 5 key strategies that will help you and your staff take control of your time.  Remember, time is the one thing we cannot make more of, but we can take the time we have and use it to the fullest.

1. List everything you need to do for the day and prioritise it
Keeping in mind your goals will help you to prioritise the list. Write down EVERYTHING, as this will give you a clear picture of exactly what you have to get through.  When prioritising your day it is essential you make time for the important things, not just what is urgent.  Ask yourself, “Will completing this task help me achieve my goals?”

2. Set a starting time as well as an end time for projects
Sometimes, before we start a new project we become paralysed with the idea of where to start.  We lose precious time procrastinating and over planning.  To avoid this, simply slice up big tasks into smaller ones and allocate a start and finish time for each smaller task.  You will tick them off your ‘to-do list’ more swiftly with this strategy in place.  Also, if you run out of energy on a project, switch to another and allocate a time to go back to the original project.  Sometimes, focusing on something new can bring clarity.

3. Say no to new projects if you are overloaded
There is no shame in saying “No” to a task if you know that you will never get it done based on your current workload.  Instead, discuss with the delegator what your current workload is, and your ability to take on the new work. If it really needs to be done, trim off lower priority activities from your schedule.  Maybe it is a project that you could delegate later on.

4. For each paper that crosses your desk: act on it, file it, or toss it.
There are two actions that will make this task simple:
a. Practice a ‘same day action” system for paperwork,
b. Organise work flow for clerical support effectively.

5. Use a diary or similar system to manage your valuable time.
Your diary system does not need to be fancy or complex, find out what works best for you. Your diary needs to include ALL of your daily activities not just your work commitments but your personal life, too.

More information is available on how to take control of your time under the topic ‘Time Management’, which includes models, templates, do’s and don’ts and more.  Simply click here to subscribe

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