Time management is serious business. And also ‘serious’ for business. To company CEOs, Founder or Co-founders, or even top management Executives, managing time is second nature.
They have reached that position because of their ability to lead. They understand the value of time and how productive managing time can be.
The art of prioritizing your daily tasks comes with practice. It is, however, a tricky skill to master. The following time management tips can prove beneficial for you.
After all, it did help CEOs and startup founders within Nordic Intent’s incubation ecosystem, to lead their respective companies on a positive graph.
Time management tip #1 – Learn to say “No”
Positive leaders are known for being bright, intellectual, disciplined, and saying “No”.
Steve Jobs always felt that “innovations can happen by saying NO to a thousand things”.
Say “No” to time-wasting sales emails every day or skip phone calls that could distract you from your focus zones.
Be polite when rejecting offers that aren’t of benefit to you. Tell them you are busy at this moment and would get back once available.
Time management tip #2 – Heard of the Pareto Principle?
The ‘Pareto Principle’ or the ‘80/20 rule’ states that in order to achieve 100% efficiency, your tasks should cover 80% with the management of those tasks making the rest of the 20%.
So, dedicate 80% of your time to tasks that can influence your work, such as making the product innovative or developing the business. The rest 20% should be spent on the rest of the CEO tasks.
Again, break that 80% into priorities. Work on the priorities yourself and delegate the other ones to subordinates. Adopt the 2-minute rule. If a task can be completed in 2-minutes then do it immediately.
Time management tip #3 – Managing emails
Reading and replying to emails drain your precious time. Get organized with it. Create folders or labels for priority tasks. Create one for projects that need your approval.
You can also work on emails in batches every two hours. Boomerang is a tool that can help you view emails that enter your inbox at a designated time in the day. Sanebox moves bulk emails to a miscellaneous folder.
Time management tip #4 – Work on a playbook
Create a business playbook that contains your business process workflow, scripts, approvals, operating procedures, task completion standards, and cultural values. All these ‘play’ a consistent response to mundane tasks that require daily attention.
Set up the Eisenhower Matrix. Devised by former US President, General Dwight Eisenhower, it should contain a matrix that allocates scores to tasks based on urgency.
The tasks with the lowest scores are postponed, while the ones with the highest scores are prioritized.
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Time management tip #5 – Think a bit more
According to LinkedIn CEO, Jeff Weiner, “a key aspect of time management is the time carved out to think rather than to react constantly”.
Avoid reacting to issues and take time to think about possibilities or solutions. Thinking doesn’t mean worrying about budgets or what access to give to which member of the team.
Create a spreadsheet that already mentions budgets, pricing, quality expectations, and share that sheet with your managers. This way you can manage time by thinking about strategies and plans of action, rather than unnecessary things.
Time management tip #6 – Wind up meetings quickly
Be strict about meetings. See if it can be sorter by mails, Slack messages or even WhatsApp. Create strict meeting agendas.
Circulate a doc around where all the important queries that need to be answered during the meeting are added on to.
Set specific days for meetings. This gives all participants an opportunity to come prepared. Also, allot some days as ‘buffer day’ and some as ‘focus day’. ‘Focus day’ contains no social media, meetings, and emails. You work on your high-priority tasks. Fit your meetings onto ‘buffer day’.
Time management tip #7 – Avoid lengthy reports
Writing a report is mundane and time-consuming. Instead send out dashboards screenshots to indicate the daily, weekly, or monthly performances of an employee or manager.
Create dashboards for the marketing team, sales team, business development team, product team, etc.
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