Did you know that microbusinesses (one to nine employees) spend 15 hours every week on administrative work? That’s according to Starling Bank’s “2020 Make Business Simple” report.
Solopreneurs fare even worse, spending 31% of their weekly time sorting finances. If you’re a business owner or manager, you know that admin and financial housekeeping is just one of many important tasks that have to be done, which underscores how critical it is to manage your time.
The key to efficient time management is to figure out what works best for you. But we’ve gathered top time management strategies that are a good fit for (mostly) everyone.
If writing a to-do list is the first step towards better time management prioritizing your tasks is the next. It guides you through the day’s activities in order of importance, ensuring that the tasks that matter most are dealt with first. When ranking your tasks, you should always prioritize what’s most important to you.
Many job offers state that multitasking is one of the key skills of the candidate. But it’s better to throw such an offer right to the bin. The truth is, multitasking damages our brain.
In fact, multitasking can dramatically decrease your productivity. The study conducted at Stanford University has shown that “When they’re [multitaskers] in situations where there are multiple sources of information coming from the external world or emerging out of memory, they’re not able to filter out what’s not relevant to their current goal. That failure to filter means they’re slowed down by that irrelevant information.” Do one task at a time to stay focused and engaged in your work.
Believe it or not, working continuously will only affect your productivity and concentration. You need to take frequent breaks to avoid burnout and clear your mind to allow it to think better when getting back to work. Many studies suggests taking a break every 75 and 90 minutes. That’s the period of time where you can concentrate and get a lot of work done.
TRY The 4D System
One effective task management practice is to organize your tasks into four separate quadrants, sorting them by important vs. unimportant and urgent vs. not urgent. Urgent tasks are those that should be done immediately. Important tasks are those that contribute to your long-term goals.
- Do now: Do the urgent tasks first to avoid feelings of anxiety and stress.
- Defer: Do the important tasks after the urgent ones, they’re not a high priority item but should be done to keep on track of the long-term goals
- Delegate: If there is an important task that doesn’t necessarily have to be done by you, give it to someone else
- Delete: What are the consequences of not doing the task at all? Consider the 80/20 rule, maybe you’d just end up wasting time.
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