9 Tips to Improve Time Management

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Stop Multi-Tasking and See Productivity Improve

When you’re leaving work for the day, do you ever walk out feeling less than productive? You reflect on your day and what you should have gotten done. You were busy all day, but don’t know what work you actually produced.

And though “wasted” seems like a strong word, you’d be surprised how much time you – and your employees – spend on activities that should be avoided. Ridding the workplace of distractions, or removing certain aspects of your day, will greatly improve your time management.

Direct Capital can help. We know that improving time management will increase productivity and help keep your business on track to grow. And since helping small businesses like yours achieve success and growth is our goal, we’ve put together the following list of ways you can help yourself and your employees stay on task.

How To Stay Focused at Work

  1. Have fewer meetings, or bring an agenda: Sometimes meetings don’t really accomplish anything. Before scheduling another meeting with your staff, think about whether it’s necessary. Is what you want to discuss something you could do via email or phone? If not, and you determine that a meeting is the best way to communicate, bring an agenda. Have specific points you need to discuss, and leave time at the end for everyone to speak uninterrupted about their thoughts on the matter.
  2. Make a “Productive Item” list: A different take on the traditional “To-Do” list, a Productive Item list is one where you write down all the tasks you could complete that are income-generating. These could be attending a seminar/webinar, writing an article, updating the blog, sending emails, ordering inventory, etc. Don’t try to complete them all in one day, but make it a point to do at least one per day. When you know what the high-ticket items are you need to complete, you’ll be more apt to focus on them.
  3. Minimize Distractions: Anyone who says they have tunnel vision is probably lying. Everyone gets distracted by something – noise, chatter, people walking by the window. Think about the different people and departments you have and where they’d be best suited to work. If there’s a quieter area of your building, put the people that need quiet to focus more clearly there. If you play music throughout the whole building, make sure it’s not too loud or intrusive.
  4. Don’t Answer Email: This is probably the toughest one on this list. In most businesses, employees live on email. Unfortunately, email is a huge time suck. A 2012 McKinsey Global Institute survey found that 25% of every work day is spent reading and answering emails. Add that up for every day of the year you work and you’ll get an astounding number. Shutting your email down for even just one hour a day can significantly improve your productivity.
  5. Use sonic walls: We don’t want your business to feel like a prison to your employees, but if you feel that social media usage is getting in the way of everyday tasks, then setting up some type of sonic wall could be beneficial. If you have certain employees that need to use social media (like your Social Media Specialist, say..) then you can give them access to the sites. Otherwise, shut them down for everyone else.
  6. Software and Technology Training: Distractions can even come in ways you don’t expect. If you or anyone on your team is spending too much time trying to figure out how to use certain programs or software, it would be in your best interest to hold a training session or two. This might mean bringing an outside person in to conduct the training (don’t worry – we can give you a loan for that!), but in the end it will be worth the time and money.
  7. Be choosy: Don’t be a yes man or yes woman. Committing to everything that’s dropped on your plate is time consuming. Saying no to invites, meetings, or phone calls is okay. And, if you feel bad saying no, block off time on your calendar and shut your office door. This way, it looks as though you are busy, but you’re really just focusing on what you need to do.
  8. Provide supplies: A lot of time is often spent organizing and reorganizing. Papers get thrown around, desks become a mess – it happens. By offering organizational supplies to your staff, you can minimize the time they spend cleaning up clutter.
  9. Stop Multi-tasking: You might be thinking that’s counterintuitive to trying to improve productivity, but it’s not. Multi-tasking means that one person is doing many things and not dedicating enough time to one specific task at hand. While it’s good to appreciate the effort made in trying to get as much work done as possible, in many cases the multi-tasker will fail to deliver quick results because time is not managed properly on the projects.

If delivering results and improving revenue is your goal, then turning to Direct Capital is the right choice. Not only do we help by providing tips and advice for small business owners, but we’re also experts in the financial space. When you need an equipment lease or a small business loan, we’re here to help.

For more information on Direct Capital, visit our website. If you’d like to get started now, give us a call at 866-777-0117 or click on the banner below!

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