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Time management in business is very important. Effective time management in any organisation translates into high productivity. The key to effective time management in business is prioritizing and organizing. When you organize your tasks or schedule in order of priority, it helps you to be focused and get things done faster.

Multi-tasking makes it look as if you are getting more done, however, this is not true because you need to be focused on one thing per time for effectiveness. If you are trying to focus on many things at a time, you won’t be able to give the required attention and detail. It is impossible to walk in two different directions at a time.

Most businesses are routine in nature such that you can actually create a structure or system to get it running – an operational system or framework. Create a list of activities to focus on each week.

Most business activities fall into one of the following categories:

1.    Sales – Activities directly related to consumer including closing sale

2.    Operations – logistics and activities that keep the business running daily

3.    Marketing – Activities that concern attracting new clients and expanding market for your business

4.    Finance – Budgets, payables and receivables

5.    Management – Recruitment and staff management

6.    Customer Service – Ensuring customers derive maximum satisfaction from your product or service

7.    Training – Broadening your staff’s knowledge and sharpening skills

Schedule these categories into different days of the week. Divide each day into mornings and afternoons and place each of the business categories into a time period either mornings or afternoons.  You can schedule them such that each goes into your preferred days of the week. For instance, you could put the things you like to do on Thursdays into Thursday list. This enables you to create a week that allows you to do things when you have the energy and desire to complete them.

For example, your week may look something like this.

Monday

am – Finance / Operations

pm – Training

Tuesday

am – Marketing

pm – Sales

Wednesday

am – Sales

pm – Customer Service

Thursday

am – Customer Service

pm – Sales

Friday

am – Customer Service

pm – Management

Handling Distractions

Distractions come in various forms, but with the following helpful tips you can deal with them

1.    Let people around you know your new schedule; this includes vendors, employees, and customers.

2.    Find another business owner who can hold you accountable with daily phone calls.

3.    Check emails in the afternoon and not more than 3 times daily. Urgent matter or information do not usually come by email, it’s usually with a call.

4.    Plan each day the night before listing your top priority first.

5.    Have a list of To-dos perhaps on a sticky pad. This helps you keep track of your activities and progress

6.    Make use of delegation method when necessary. This helps to free up your time for more productive things and you don’t have to be the one doing everything.

7.    Avoid answering too many calls; this could be a major distraction. You could have a PA answer your calls or you could use a voice recording machine so that you call back later.

8.    Inculcate this same time discipline into staff members or team members. That way would help them be productive.

9.    Tidy up your work space at the close of work every day.