7 WAYS TO MANAGE YOUR TIME BETTER

Time Management

Time is money. We are all under pressure to do more; to maximise every waking minute; we have business and work commitments, home life, friends, family, exercise, and holidays.

So much to do, so little time. Are you feeling the pressure? Tick tock. Tick tock. Well don’t.

This blog will help you get more out of your day through better time management.

Time management is all about committing to change and action. You need to:

·         Plan

·         Delegate

·         Prioritise

·         Control

Here are my simple top tips to manage your time better, and to give yourself more time to make money and enjoy life!

1.     Make a plan

It can be a daily or weekly plan. Get into a routine of doing your daily plan the night before. If it’s a weekly plan and you’re self-employed, do it on a Sunday night; or first thing on a Monday morning if you’re employed.

Today’s technology allows you to access your documents and any plans when you’re out of the office, so make use of it.

2.     Write down your ‘to-do’ list

Schedule your work and give each task an estimated start and end time.

3.     Challenge the status quo

It’s all too easy for us to do things the way they have always been done.

Be creative. Think about why you’re doing what you’re doing. Ask yourself if there’s a better way. Even ask yourself whether it needs to be done.

4.     Plan for the unexpected

Ensure you leave enough time for tasks which crop up. Decide whether it’s urgent, or important, whether it can be delegated, and prioritise accordingly.

5.     Make your tasks bite-sized

You’ve heard the saying ‘never try to eat an elephant all in one go’. It’s the same with your plan. Look at each task. Can you break them down into smaller tasks?

6.     Be prepared

So if you’re meeting a client first thing the next morning, work out what you’re going to wear, where you’re meeting, the route you’ll take, and prepare any materials the night before. If it’s someone you don’t know, check out their website and LinkedIn.

7.     Stick to your plan!

Do yourself and your business a favour and stick to your plan. Avoid distractions, and reduce interruptions.

I also advise my clients to use a time management grid. There are plenty you can choose from, but I would recommend searching online for ‘Stephen Covey Time Management Grid’.

Many of the world’s leading entrepreneurs start work at 5 or even 4 in the morning. They do this so they have enough time to cover everything. You don’t have to.

There are 24 hours in a day, so use them wisely. With forward planning, delegation, prioritisation and control you will be able to achieve so much more in your life.

 

Get in touch to find out how we can help you grow and achieve success for your business either by email enquiries@nozeyparkers.co.uk or call 0808 123 1399.

Your first 2 hour consultation is free.

Tina Marie Parker, business advisor, trouble-shooter and turnaround expert, has been helping businesses for nearly 30 years. From start-ups to succession planning. From companies going through rapid growth to companies desperate to see some growth. She helps them thrive and survive. Great business advice and hands-on support for your organisation, getting the desired results, fast

JUST SAY NO! THEN MANAGE YOUR TIME BETTER

NO

Here ten top tips – 6 things you should stop doing and 4 things you should start doing.

Firstly learn to just say ‘no’!

1.     Don’t be a slave to your email system

Did you know that on average we spend 13 hours or 37% of our working week checking emails?

My advice is to turn off the ‘incoming email’ notification. Human nature means we are curious, so we’ll drop the work we are doing to check who has sent the message.

I recommend checking your emails when you first start work to see if there is anything urgent that needs to be included in your day’s schedule. Don’t check your emails again until lunch, and then look again just before the end of day.

Prioritise any tasks that arise from the emails and work them into your schedule.

2.     Don’t have tabs open for social media

In the same way that email is a huge distraction, so is social media. Don’t have tabs open for Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn – unless social media is key to your role.

You know whether these are relevant to your work or not, and if you need to use social media decide what times are most relevant to you and stick to them, perhaps first thing in the morning and then at the end of day.

3.     Don’t agree to all meetings

Decide whether the meeting is going to be worth the time commitment, including preparation and actions. Set clear objectives, and try to put timings against any agenda items. Don’t be afraid to say ‘no’!

4.     Don’t fill your diary with meetings

Be careful that you don’t see your diary as some form of a Tetris game, where you feel you need to fill it with meetings.

Make sure you have space in your diary to catch up, plan ahead, and to do your work. You need to be and to feel in control and not overwhelmed.

5.     Learn how to say ‘no’ where you can

If given a deadline, and you don’t feel it is achievable or realistic, see whether there is any room for movement. Remember to always under-promise and over-deliver.

6.     Don’t multi-task

If you want to be efficient, you can only work on one thing at a time.

 

So, what should you be doing?

1.     Take a look at your work environment

How is your workstation set up? Could it be better organised to save time?

2.     Learn how to delegate where possible

Can someone else complete the task? I cover delegation in greater detail in another blog.

3.     Group similar tasks together

Make sure that after grouping similar tasks together you do them one after the other.

And as soon as you can afford to, I recommend that you hire a PA or admin assistant to handle all the little tasks that take a long time and are not a good use of your time.

4.     Put a clock in clear sight of your work station

When we’re engrossed in our work it’s easy to lose track of time. Make sure you can see a clock so that you can keep to your schedule.

I recommend to my clients that they also set reminders on their phone or calendar so that they can keep to their schedule and move on to the next task.

 

Nozey Parkers are here to help you and your business thrive. Check out our website for more great blogs on running your business more efficiently.

Please call 0808 123 1399 now to find out more about our support services or email enquiries@nozeyparkers.co.uk

Your first consultation is free.

Tina Marie Parker, business advisor, trouble-shooter and turnaround expert, has been helping businesses for nearly 30 years. From start-ups to succession planning. From companies going through rapid growth to companies desperate to see some growth. She helps them thrive and survive. Great business advice and hands-on support for your organisation, getting the desired results, fast

7 LEVELS OF DELEGATION

handwriting blackboard writings - Many hands make light work

There are 7 levels of delegation, i.e. 7 ways you can delegate a task.

Most Important …………….Prioritise, prioritise, prioritise

After you‘ve identified what tasks to delegate, you need to prioritise.

To help you prioritise, think about:

  • Deadlines
  • How long the project will take
  • The resources required
  • Who you’ll be delegating it to

Also work through the benefits to you, your business, and also the benefits to the team member who will take the task forward.

But before we get in to too much detail, I want to talk you through the seven different levels of delegation. I,e, the 7 different ways you can delegate tasks. These are:

1.     No freedom at all

This is where you,  as the business manager or owner, give full instructions on how to do the task.

2.     Investigation and analysis

Here you retain responsibility, and explore options, before reaching a decision

3.     Investigation and shared analysis

Here you retain responsibility, but the process of investigation and analysis is shared

4.     Agreed investigation and analysis

This is where you as the business owner or manager,  need to give approval, based on the research and recommendation

5.     Decide, take action, inform

Here you are advised of the decision and actions, after they have been carried out

6.     Decide and take action

Here there is delegated authority to take action, and no requirement to advise the business owner or manager.

It’s important to remember that responsibility still lies with you

7.     Decide, take action and manage

This is the highest level of delegation, where responsibility is with the team member to carry out the task.

It is vital that you are both clear about the level of delegation and responsibility. Otherwise problems will arise.

Here are my top tips on how to be an effective delegator:

1.     Give a clear explanation, as to why the task needs to be delegated, and why the individual has been selected

2.     Gain agreement from the staff member that he or she will take on the delegated task. If you don’t get agreement, they cannot be held responsible

3.     Brief him or her on the required outcomes, how you will measure success, any reviews or reporting requirements. Ensure that this is understood and written down

4.     Let the team member know of deadlines

5.     Communicate with their line manager. Ensure there is full agreement and that he or she has a plan in place to cover work programmes

6.     Share information and diaries to make the process easier

In my experience when delegation fails, it’s mainly down to poor communication. If this happens then you must take responsibility.

Always remember to acknowledge success, when a delegated task is carried out well.

Get in touch via enquiries@nozeyparkers.co.uk or look round our website to find out how we can help you grow and achieve success for your business.

Nozey Parkers are here to help you and your business thrive. Please call 0808 1231399 now to find out more about our business support services. Your first consultation is free.

Tina Marie Parker, business advisor, trouble-shooter and turnaround expert, has been helping businesses for nearly 30 years. From start-ups to succession planning. From companies going through rapid growth to companies desperate to see some growth. She helps them thrive and survive. Great business advice and hands-on support for your organisation, getting the desired results, fast

DELEGATION MADE EASY

Delegate 1

So… you have spent time and money recruiting the right people for your business and now it’s time to delegate. You know that this will allow your business to grow and will give you the time and energy to devote to more important tasks.

So why is it that so many of us still micromanage? Does this describe you? Could you delegate more or delegate better?

In this blog I’ll show you how to delegate and become a more effective manager, leader or business owner.

Three reasons you should delegate:

1.     It will give you more time to do other, more strategic work, that only you can do

2.     Staff will be better motivated and engaged in the business

3.     When you take a holiday, if you become ill, have a family emergency, or want to sell up, others will need to have your skills and knowledge or the business will suffer

I recommend you start by writing down what you do in a typical day or week. This will help you identify what, how, when and to whom, you should be delegating.

Also look at your processes and procedures. Do they require updating so that others within the business can do the work?

Good processes, written with the end result in mind, will help your business.

Now, for the rule for delegation, called SMARTER. This stands for:

·         Specific

·         Measureable

·         Agreed

·         Realistic

·         Time-bound

·         Ethical

·         Recorded

 

When delegating, you need to be ‘specific’ and ‘measurable’. Your team member must know what he or she has to do.

They have to agree to take on the work, as they also accept responsibility. It has to be ‘realistic’, which means they must be able to do the work.

And it has to be ‘time-bound’, that means to an understood and agreed deadline. It must be ‘ethical’ or fair, and ‘recorded’, so both of you know what has to be done.

You need to identify any additional needs such as:

·         Training

·         Support

·         Equipment

·         Materials

·         And a budget

 

Also consider whether you’ll need to reward your staff member, dependent upon the job description and the delegated task. At the very least recognise their work, and thank them, when a delegated task is carried out well.

Of course, it may be better for your business to hire a new employee or to bring in an independent contractor or freelance consultant rather than delegate to a staff member.

By delegating well you will be working ’smarter’ rather than harder.

Get in touch at enquiries@nozeyparkers.co.uk to find out how we can help you grow and achieve success for your business..

Nozey Parkers are here to help you and your business thrive. Please call 0808 1231399 now to find out more about our support services, or check out our website . Your first consultation is free.

Tina Marie Parker, business advisor, trouble-shooter and turnaround expert, has been helping businesses for nearly 30 years. From start-ups to succession planning. From companies going through rapid growth to companies desperate to see some growth. She helps them thrive and survive. Great business advice and hands-on support for your organisation, getting the desired results, fast

THE ART OF DELEGATION

Delegate 1

Recruiting the right staff is crucial for your business. You spend your time and money on finding the right candidate with the right skills.

Why then do some business owners still feel they have to micromanage and do not have the ability to delegate tasks to these individuals? As your business grows you need to be able to delegate, otherwise it will stop growing, because you will be spending your time running around doing tasks that someone could quite easily do.

In this blog I want to try to explain the skills you need to develop, as a leader of your company, so that you can delegate effectively. I will be posting some useful delegation tools via my #QuickTips post on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook over the next 2 weeks too.

Delegation is important because you will not be around forever! You need to pass on your skills and knowledge to others within the business, so there is a succession plan. Delegate well and your staff will be motivated and it will give you some much needed time back to concentrate on other things within your business.

There is a rule regarding delegation known as the SMARTER.

S – Specific

M – Measureable

A – Agreed

R – Realistic

T – Time bound

E – Ethical

R – Recorded

Before you decide what you might delegate to others, you need to get an idea of how you spend your time on a daily basis. Doing this exercise will help you to spot what are your biggest time drains.

You will also need to document all of your companies processes and procedures so that it is clear what each task is and will therefore make it easier to delegate the task to others.

Be careful here though as the process taken to complete the task, is not as important as the end result.  This is where your focus should lie.

It maybe you decide to bring an independent contractor rather than hiring a new employee or giving the work to a current member of staff. Are people you work with capable of completing the tasks? Will they need further training? Are any other resources required? Equipment, materials, money etc.

So when you have now worked out your delegation items – what to whom – you then need to prioritise this list. Do this by asking yourself “When does this need to be completed?” and “can I delegate this to someone else?”  Also ask yourself “What is the benefit of delegating the task?” “What is the benefit for both parties?”

When delegating explain why you need to delegate the task and why you have chosen them. They must agree to taking the task on otherwise they cannot be held responsible.

The chosen person must also know what the desired outcome of delegating the task is and how you will measure this. Are there reviews? Is there any reporting to be done?

Is there a deadline for this work to be completed? Again do not forget to share this information.

If the person you are delegating work to has a line manager, or is part of a team, then they must be kept informed too. Good communication is vital.

Today’s new technology makes sharing information and diaries so easy. Investigate what’s available or get someone to do it for you!

If the task is not performed effectively then it probably has something to do with you not communicating the expectations clearly in the first place. If this happens then accept the failure, but also remember to pass on the credit when things are going right.

You need to be able to trust the other party to complete the task but also you need to make sure you pass over all the information they need, so that they can trust you.

There are different levels of delegation.

No freedom at all – They have to do what you say, follow instructions and wait to be told when to do it.

Investigation and analysis – You retain responsibility and look at the options before making a decision.

Investigation and shared analysis – As above but the process is shared and a decision is made together.

Agreed investigation and analysis – The other party researches and works out the decision then just gets approval from you.

Decide, take action, inform – The other party is allowed to make the decision and act on it, then let you know afterwards what happened.

Decide and take action – As above but they do not need to let you know the outcome. This will still be reviewed though as the final responsibility lies with you.

Decide, take action, manage – As above but the responsibility for this task is now with the other party.

Whatever and however you decide to delegate I hope this blog has helped you make some decisions.

If you would like help in any of the processes mentioned in the blog then please do not hesitate to contact me on 07784 611399 or email tina.parker@nozeyparkers.co.uk or have a look around the website

Tina Parker is helping business thrive, when before they had been facing overwhelm and an immense struggle to keep going, that closure may have been easier. The business owners relax in the knowledge that their business is running efficiently and profitably, and their staff are motivated and driven.

HOW TO BETTER MANAGE YOUR TIME

4 day week

We could all do with more time –right? So how do we maximise the 24 hours that we are all given?

In this blog I will try to give you an idea of how to manage your time more effectively so you can get more done in a day.

Time management requires you to commit to action and change. It requires forward planning, delegating, prioritising and control. You must then stick to your plan and not allow your environment to cause interruptions.

Create a schedule or plan. You can either create a weekly or daily plan. If you decide on the weekly I suggest that you create it on the Sunday night (if you are self-employed) or first thing on a Monday morning (if you are employed). A daily plan is better worked out the night before.  You could use a Google calendar. You can then sync it with your mobile phone or IPad and can access it while out of the office.

Write down everything that you need to complete. Schedule in your work and give each task an estimated time start and time finish. Be prepared to be creative and challenging with others. Always think about why you are doing things and is there a better way to accomplish the same thing. Always allow for unforeseen tasks that may arise. You need to work out whether a task is urgent or important and prioritise accordingly.

The pdf below, produced by Stephen Covey, contains a grid which will help you to accomplish this, and decide what is urgent and what is important.http://www.usgs.gov/humancapital/documents/TimeManagementGrid.pdf

You have heard the saying “never try to eat an elephant all in one go”. Look at each task. Can it be broken down into smaller tasks?

Don’t be a slave to your email system. Turn off the “incoming email” notification on your PC. Otherwise curiosity will make you leave what you are working on and check to see who the email is from. It’s a good idea to check your emails when you first start work to see if there is anything urgent that needs dealing with straight away and then work that into your daily schedule. Don’t check your emails again until lunch, and then check again just before end of day. Again prioritise any tasks that arise from the emails and work them into your schedule. Did you know that on average we spend 13 hours or 37% of our work week just checking emails!

As above, don’t have tabs open for Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn either, as notifications will distract you. Maybe look at these social media platforms first thing in the morning and then at end of day.

When someone asks you for a meeting work out if the meeting is going to be worthwhile and don’t be afraid to say NO.

Be careful that you don’t see your diary as some form of a Tetris game. You don’t have to fill every available space with meetings. Make sure you allow space in your diary to catch up and plan ahead, so you don’t get overwhelmed.

Take a look at your work environment. How is your work station set up? Could it be better organised to save time?

Learn how to delegate where possible. Can someone else complete the task? I will cover this in more detail in my next blog.

If there are similar tasks to finish try grouping them together and doing them one after the other.

As soon as you can afford to, hire a PA/admin person to handle all the little tasks that take so long, and are a waste of your time.

Learn how to say NO where you can too. If given a deadline by an employer, work colleague or customer see if there is any room for movement, if you are strapped for time. To do a better job for them you need to be able to plan ahead. Always under promise and over deliver.

When we are engrossed in our work we can lose track of time too easily. Make sure there is a clock visible while you are working so you keep to your schedule.

You could set reminders on your phone or calendar to prompt you to move on to the next task.

You can only work on one thing at a time and be efficient in what you are doing, so don’t try to multi-task.

If you are going to a meeting with a client first thing the next morning, work out what you are wearing, the route you will take and get any materials ready, the night before.

There are 24 hours in a day. Many of the world’s leading entrepreneurs start work at 4 or 5 am so they know they will cover everything they need to that day.

Finally, make sure you allow time for your personal activities in your schedule, such as exercise, social events, family and holidays. Schedule these things in and stick to your plan!

If you would like help to create your time plan then let me know, otherwise look out for my blog on delegation skills.

You can contact me at tina.parker@nozeyparkers.co.uk or call 07784 611399 or take a look round the website

Tina Parker is helping business thrive, when before they had been facing overwhelm and an immense struggle to keep going, that closure may have been easier. The business owners relax in the knowledge that their business is running efficiently and profitably, and their staff are motivated and driven.