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Businesses are fraught with waste.
Whether it’s due to inefficient processes, disproportionate resource allocation to poor-performing lines of business or employees who physically waste work time due to poor time management, it’s hard to stop the slow bleed from businesses.
But perhaps the key to addressing employee waste is not in tighter discipline, but more rewards. Investing in personal development skills, in my opinion, is the number-one way to challenge and motivate employees. But even employees who have risen to the top and still enjoy their jobs can find themselves daydreaming and lackadaisical at times.
So, why not challenge their time management skills? Time management is an excellent system that can promote both personal and professional development. It’s a win-win.
As an entrepreneur, I’ve been following my own system of time management for years now and it has actively contributed to my success. I recently shared this with my staff, as part of a number of new workshops designed to improve efficiency and productivity. The results have been nothing but positive. Unfortunately, its success can only go as far as my employees are willing to follow their own personal time management systems.
Here, I’d like to share some workplace time management tips and the system that I have followed for success.
Find your time management system.
There are plenty of time management regimens to follow, but my personal favorite modus operandi has to be Tony Robbins’ Rapid Planning Method (RPM). What separates this system from others is its emphasis on prioritizing tasks that are most important to your long-term goals. His system is based a simple three-step action plan.
3. Creating RPM blocks
The first step involves taking an hour out of the week to begin writing down your goals and planning out your schedule. This is called the “hour of power” and I typically do mine on Sundays. Don’t just think about the who, what, when and where. Write down the reasons for your goals. Don’t limit your focus to day-to-day activities, either.
Next, think about how smaller tasks you plan can lead you to that overall goal and then look outward to see how you can chunk these tasks to improve your efficiency of reaching this goal. For example, if you’re going to a particular city to meet someone, why not accomplish all of your tasks that are already required of the week in that particular location.
To do this, prioritize tasks by their importance and understand their relations to each other. This is what is meant by creating blocks. Once inside these blocks, write down your chunked tasks and assign each task its importance and expected results. Robbins calls this a “massive action plan.”
Finally, Robbins suggests assigning an empowering role to yourself. The purpose behind this is to again remember the why and enjoy the things you do. For example, if you need to run the kids across town for school, try to label this activity as a chance to bond with your children, rather then just simply taking your kids to school.
The purpose of all of this is to live a purpose-driven life and to truly appreciate the things we do. Sometimes we feel disillusioned with day-to-day life and it requires taking a step back and assessing what’s most important to us to become more focused.
Create goals for the future and evaluate.
What I learned from Robbins’ time management system can translate into actionable items for people who are new to time management. First, the most important aspect of time management is goal setting.
Before each day, set goals for what you want to accomplish and then write down what you were able to accomplish at the end of the day. By writing down your goals, you are more likely to accomplish them.
Eliminate the low-hanging fruit.
The next step is to schedule each task. When scheduling tasks for the next day or week, get the easy stuff out of the way first. Cleaning, waxing and vacuuming your car only requires a half hour and can be accomplished together. By eliminating the low-hanging fruit first, you’ll notice that your schedule is not nearly as busy as you think it is.
Break larger tasks into smaller ones.
When engaging in larger tasks, such as losing weight, work your way to success by completing smaller preliminary tasks. For example, if you’re trying to lose 20 pounds by the end of the year, schedule tasks to go to the doctor, slowly switch your diet and lose a little bit of weight by the end of each month. Over time, this will start to add up toward completing your end goal.
This all sounds good and easy, but life is filled with noise that can be nearly impossible to tune out.
Well, why not chunk the distractions and schedule them into your own blocks? Block off an hour to respond to emails and instant messages, instead of responding to each one of them individually throughout the day. Set aside an hour for TV and make up for lost time watching the game.
The worst thing you can do is multitask. If you start a task, complete it before moving on to another. You’ll notice your efficiency increase as you set aside your total focus and energy for the task at hand.
Time management is not easy. But by understanding the motivations for why we do certain things in life, we can establish a system that actively helps us reach the goals that are most important to us.
December 28, 2018 at 09:08AM
Forbes – Entrepreneurs