How to manage your time more efficiently
Many business owners will tell you that they wish they could control time. Between their daily responsibilities, administrative tasks, and general management of staff and activities, there isn’t enough time to focus on their passion and growing a business. Although no one has yet found a way to slow time down, there are ways to optimize it.
Time management and entrepreneurship
Entrepreneurship has its share of responsibilities. When choosing this path, an entrepreneur knows that they will have to wear many hats and perform various tasks. In addition to managing the business, entrepreneurs must find the time to focus on growing it, and sometimes, it is hard to know where to turn.
Many employers will say that they did not choose to go into business to spend their days doing administrative tasks. These tasks can be so consuming that employers don’t have enough time to devote to their real passion.
They spend a lot of time managing their employees and their business. Fortunately, there are simple practices that can be implemented that can make the world of a difference at the end of a workday. Here are a few:
Follow best practices
Lost time is hard to make up, which is why it is important to keep in mind that there are only 24 hours in a day. It might be tempting to accomplish a multitude of tasks in the course of a day, but you need to know how to use your time wisely.
This is a pretty basic tip, but using a calendar is a must. You need to create a calendar that reflects your needs. It should include the parameters that are specific to your company, industry, and priorities. Your calendar needs to accurately depict your work day.
Did you know that efficiency doesn’t necessarily come with wanting to do it all? Entrepreneurship involves knowing how to delegate in order to focus on the tasks that require your attention. You need to learn how to say no.
When you are at the head of an SME, it can be difficult to not invest in all the projects in progress. However, the positions dedicated to management and monitoring exist so that you have time to devote to other tasks.
Take breaks! It may seem contradictory, but taking breaks affects efficiency. Although this notion is becoming less prevalent, the myth that breaks are counterproductive persists, despite the fact that it is not humanly possible to remain productive for hours on end without periods of rest.
According to a meta-analysis conducted by researchers at Simon Fraser University (SFU) that compiled data from 83 studies, taking 10-minute breaks has a positive effect on productivity, because it reduces fatigue and stress, the main factors that decrease productivity.
Technology offers many other options for addressing this issue. A time management tool could prove to be a good resource for an employer. Think about it: in the digital age, technology can be used to log time and often all you need is a cell phone to do it.
Time Management: When Technology Takes Over
- Logging hours
Logging hours is a daily task that is impossible to eliminate, since it allows you to keep track of the time that each employee devotes to their professional responsibilities. This process can be time-consuming, but there are solutions to simplify it.
Depending on the industry, several tools make it easier to track time: time clocks, access cards, or codes. These resources not only facilitate time management, they also allow an employer to delegate the follow-up task and entrust it to a technology.
Additionally, digital timesheets are becoming increasingly popular. Because of them, employees can clock in virtually from their mobile device, or even activate geolocation, which is very useful for industries where travel is required. The only role of the employer is to approve these hours so that the payroll can be automatically processed.
- Creating and managing types of hours
In a business, there are more than just hours of work, for example, there are also hours for vacation and sick days. There are solutions that allow you to create categories of hours. Employees can indicate the hours worked for each category, facilitating both time management and payroll calculation.
It might even be possible to allow employees to submit their requests for these hours on their own. The employer can then approve them, or delegate approval to a manager if needed. Approved hours are then automatically recorded in timesheets.
- Viewing availability
It may be beneficial to use a digital calendar to streamline shift management and team availability. With a digital calendar, it is possible to indicate availability and share it with others. This feature puts an end to endless email exchanges and helps in planning workforce needs.
How to better manage your time? Employers would like to have more time to devote to their primary passion and the growth of their business, but they are often overwhelmed. It goes without saying that the key to success lies in good time management.
A few simple practices can make all the difference. First, it is important to understand that taking a break or delegating a task is not synonymous with wasting time or inefficiency. It’s quite the opposite. Although these behaviours seem logical, many entrepreneurs do not allow them.
Bet on technology! It can take on repetitive and complex tasks that tend to be time-consuming. With a time management solution, you could log hours worked on digital timesheets accessible from anywhere, create categories of hours that are reflected directly on payslips, and plan for labour needs with a digital calendar. A digital solution also simplifies payroll calculations by automating everything.
Finally, by automating certain complex and tedious tasks, such as time management or invoicing, technology helps entrepreneurs find time for their passion, the catalyst that started their business.