Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash
Time management is always a big problem to solve for every entrepreneur, and if they don't use available time efficiently, it will cause stress or anxiety at work, as well as at home and stress is the biggest threat to health and workplace wellness. Many of us will be familiar with the symptoms of being overworked, so why don’t we take steps to reduce the harm it can cause?
The problem is many of us don't know how to solve, and easiest way to find the solution is Google. So the first thing we do is a search for the keyword "Time Managment," the search results in millions of article on Time management and productivity apps.
My quick Google search shows me this results -
Number of articles on "Time Management" - about 1,04,00,00,000
"Time Management Apps" - about 5,01,00,000
Wow, it will take a lot of time even to select best 100 apps to save my time!
Are they even really helping?
In my opinion, we waste more time in time management than using it productively.
"Technology can be our best friend, and technology can also be the biggest party pooper of our lives. It interrupts our own story, interrupts our ability to have a thought or a daydream, to imagine something wonderful, because we're too busy bridging the walk from the cafeteria back to the office on the cell phone." - Steven Spielberg
I think we need a little different approach to use the available time efficiently. But how to ensure we have enough available time? Everyone has same 24 hours, but some find time for everything other find it difficult even to eat food and sleep properly. What is the difference?
The difference is in small daily habits, that can create a lot of time available to you.
Here are few habits that I continuously work on to at least save me 40% of my time every day.
1. Fix the time to bed and out of bed
This small change in habit can make you hugely productive. Our brain like routine and when it follows some routine it prepares itself accordingly and adjusts to work routine.
You can either decide to be an early riser or late to bed, it's up to you, but fix the time and stick to it as much possible. For me, I decided to get up 5 am to add two extra hours to my day, and there is no Sunday off, habit knows no off.
2. First 2 hours are only yours
I don't check emails and social network during these 2 early hours but spend more time on reading, walking and meditating and writing on Saturday Mornings. Your 2 hours can be late in the evening too; it's up to you, important is sparing some time for self-wellness.
This is how you add time for yourself to be productive and do what matters most for your health and mind wellness. So that later in a day even if you could not find time for these activities, you don’t miss them.
3. Social Time.
Socialise, but don’t give-up yourself to Social Networks!
I avoid checking any social networks during working hours. My office work hours are 8 am to 5 pm, but as the founder of the business, I work 24/7 in different formats. So for me time on social networking apps is when I am traveling, sometimes during events, lunch breaks and post office hours, I check Twitter, Facebook, etc.
Spend more time in socializing with real people; it will help you personally as well as in business. Fix the time for social network apps.
4. Looks are important but time too.
Dress up to look good in person as well as on watch too.
10 years ago I decided to keep my head shaved, and that saved me a lot of my time on making my hairs. Since last two years I decided to simplify my wardrobe too, now I have a few pairs of jeans and same color T-Shirts to wear at work! Sure I will still wear formals when they are required.
As an entrepreneur or leader you have to make many decisions every day, the removal of even one decision such choosing clothes in the morning can help you have more mental space and better productivity throughout the day.
I am excited to report it almost saved me my 45 min per day every morning!
I am not doing this alone!
I don’t say you shave your head or wear jeans and same t-shirts, but just spend some time to simplify your wardrobe for the work and work on time to get ready, so you don’t spend too much of time every morning. This is true to all entrepreneur as long as you are not in show business.
5. Reduce meeting & conference time
I reduced the number of conferences and events I will attend per month. It's better to spend more time with your client than going to conferences. Spending time with your client will provide you much-needed feedback to improve your offerings. In conference, what all you can learn is how other people did it right. Better spend more time getting your things right.
Try to use different available technology for virtual meetings than spending hours in traffic for in-person meetings. Any meeting beyond an hour will result in nothing.
Any meeting beyond one hour is a waste of your time unless you are following some actions taken away from the meeting. #BeMindful
6. Select right clients
You can also save much time by selecting right clients for your business. Like your client chooses you, you should also learn to select clients. Not everyone is earnest to do business with you.
It's your responsibility to educate client that time is important on both sides and must be valued. Spend time with a client who appreciates the quality of your services and not just takes it for granted.
If you select the right clients, you can serve them properly, and the chances are high that they will bring more business to you than having wrong clients and failed projects on your side.
7. Say "NO"
Say NO to as many things possible.
It sounds strange, but this is a most important habit you can develop to be successful in whatever you are doing.
Because when you say yes, it's your responsibility to honor your promise and deliver it. There can be no excuse for it. Saying yes and excusing from delivering, shows you and your business in very bad light.
It wastes time and money on both sides.
You will get done many things and earn more by saying NO than saying yes to everything.
If you are building product, maybe you will love to read this blog -
Innovation is Saying No to 1,000 Things.
Just working on these 7 habits can save your 40% time.
Next, you need to work on right mindset.
But next part of the blog is optional read, if you think first you want to work on above 7 habits then better fix them, come back letter to continue reading.
You can save additional 20% of time with settings right mindset. So that will save you total 60% of the time! That's very very big deal!
1. Stop using word "Busy"
Eliminating the word 'busy' from your vocabulary can lead you to be more happy and productive.
According to The Washington Post article published.
“A study in the Journal of Psychological Science shows that we’re much happier there’s a lot going on in our life. But if keeping active and “busy” is positive for our health, why do we often feel overwhelmed or exhausted by our list of responsibilities?
It may not be our “to do list” that is the source of our unhappiness. Instead, our choice of words can have a negative effect on our experience. A study on the psychological aspects of language use tells us that our words have more power than we may think.”
"6 reasons why we would all be happier if we stopped using ‘busy’ to describe ourselves and our lives."
2. Stress management
As working professional, everyone is going to experience stress, if left unmanaged it will destroy your productivity and health. Instead of feeling even more stressed, just manage it properly by taking time out for sound sleep, going to the gym or running or walking, take a vacation or simply read something you love, think of it as part of your job. Studies show we are 20% more productive when we work from a happy state of mind.
3. Do not dive straight into work
This is a common mistake every entrepreneur does - the first things you do when you wake up is to check emails and phone. Stop those immediately. Throwing yourself into work immediately can harm your long-term productivity. It’s like going on a run without stretching first. You need to warm up first so you can better focus on work when it is time.
Right mindset for doing things right is important than just doing things because you can strike off one task from your to-do list is unproductive.
4. Stop multitasking
Multitasking leads you to be productive is a myth.
It may seem efficient on the surface, but multitasking can take more time in the end and involve more error in completing the task. Research shows that shifting between tasks can cost as much as 40% of your productive time.
What the research shows
Doing more than one task at a time, especially more than one complex task takes a toll on productivity. Although that shouldn't surprise anyone who has talked on the phone while checking E-mail or talked on a cell phone while driving, the extent of the problem might come as a shock. Psychologists who study what happens to cognition (mental processes) when people try to perform more than one task at a time have found that the mind and brain were not designed for heavy-duty multitasking. Psychologists tend to liken the job to choreography or air-traffic control, noting that in these operations, as in others, mental overload can result in catastrophe.
continue reading ...
Unfortunately, the busier you get, the more multitasking you end up doing. Resist it, instead use the 80/20 rule; identify the 20% of your tasks that are really is important focus only on it and do it first. Then take next 20% from remaining and do it, this way priorities your task.
5. If you are the boss, set the example
As a founder of a business or manager, it’s important to show that excessive busyness is not a good business model. It is too often the perception that hard work and keeping busy is the only way to grow. Instead of keeping employees working themselves into illness, better prioritize and keeping your team healthy and productive will bring growth. Set priorities for all work so your employees can schedule tasks over a reasonable period.
How everyone can be productive at ShimBi Labs, for that we innovate constantly. Here are our experiments with productivity & efficiency at ShimBi labs.
Finally, you can still save some more time by using different productivity apps.
Save additional 10% of the time - Use Apps.
Now that you have corrected few habits, set right mindset there is still scope of saving 5 to 10% of the time. Use of simple productivity Apps that simply work, such as scheduling your time with the help of Google Calendar or Apple Calendar, they are simple to use and syncs or your devices without additional efforts.
There are many more productivity apps, use them to save time, but be warned don't use too many of them and select simple one, else you will end up spending more time organizing them!
Recently “Busy" is worn like a badge of honor. Today we need to do more in less time, but we are failing to think smart to do more in less time.
If you don’t think smart and set your priorities, you are not only risking your health but also your business. So the next time someone asks "How are you doing?" if you respond "busy" stop and think, is it really so? Or you just need to work on your habits and mindset towards the way you spend your time?
I would love to know -
How do you use your time efficiently?
Do you have any other ideas managing time without actually managing it?
If you use any of above suggestions to manage your time, don't forget to write back to me, how was your experience.