by: Eric Sanchez
Getting more done is not just about efficiency, but how effectively you manage your time. I recently wrote a blog Are You a Time Waster? Create an Activity Log to Find Out and shared how an activity log can help you better manage your time. However, I must admit, I wasn’t always proficient with managing my time. Before I could create time saving habits, I had to first understand I had a time wasting problem and learn the basics of time management and prioritization.
Do You Have a Time Wasting Problem?
It wasn’t until I met with my SCORE mentors Richard and Jim when I first realized I had a problem managing my time. As a small business owner and entrepreneur, you’re so hyper-focused on the big picture all while wearing multiple hats so it’s difficult to consider what’s most important to the success of your business. My SCORE mentors helped me realize my problem with time management by introducing me to a time study. By conducting a time study, I was able to discover a surprising amount of my time was being spent on not so important activities. With this discovery, I was able to analyze my day and make adjustments to how and where I spent my time by prioritizing my activities based off A. critical, B. enabling, and C. not so important tasks.
To perform a time study, you’ll first need to create an activity log. You can do this by simply creating a 4-column table (time entry, activity, time spent, and priority) or simply download the free activity log we provide on the blog post I mentioned at the beginning of this article. Once you have your activity log, start with tracking all time from the start to the end of your workday. Be sure to log the time entry, activity, time spent, and priority of everything you do. It’s best to perform a time study over a period of a few days and keep an individual activity log for each day. At the end of your time study, analyze the data and see where you can improve.
Effective time management will help you get more done, and will contribute to the overall success of your business. By identifying and prioritizing critical activities over not so important ones, you will make a noticeable difference in your business productivity and time effectiveness.
Now it’s time for you to roll your sleeves up and get started with a time study. After you complete your time study, don’t forget to share what you’ve learned with your SCORE mentor to help you better manage your time.