CEO, where does your time go?
Author Agneta Venckute
It is said that time is money. Is it though? Everyone on this earth has the same amount of time in the day, but only a few became billionaires, build mega-successful companies or fulfil their other kinds of life goals. Time is one of the most valuable assets people have, as it is very limited. If you lose a million dollars, you can work and regain it, but if you spend 100 days procrastinating, they are lost forever. The importance of good time management and meeting deadlines is especially high in the business world. Using time efficiently should be one of the top priorities for most employees and employers. So, what is the formula for successful time management in business?
Efficient work = less time working
Focus is the main productivity tool that can be easily lost as soon as something distracts you. Studies show that the two main distractions and productivity killers are:
1. Emails and all other forms of pop-ups
E-mails are listed as one of the biggest productivity killers because they shift attention and the person loses focus.
2. Trying to multitask! There are numerous studies on how badly multitasking affects one’s productivity.
How to work more efficiently?
- Turn off your phone
Popping-up social media notifications prevent you from giving 100% of your attention to the task you are working on.
- Break up your big daily tasks into more manageable smaller tasks
For example, if you intend to publish an article, instead of putting one huge task on your to-do list, you can divide it into parts such as “do research “, “choose sources supporting the article”, “write the intro”, etc.
- Take breaks and add rewards to your daily life!
As Neil Fiore, PhD, psychologist and personal coach suggests in his book “The Now Habit” – the main reason why people procrastinate is the lack of reward for each accomplished task. The brain loses motivation to work harder if completing the task fast means only one thing – more tasks! The author suggests keeping your focus on scheduling your leisure time first, and starting work only after that. Rewards can be things such as chocolates, watching entertaining videos, basically doing anything that gives you pleasure!
- Concentrate on the most important; waste no time on the rest
A lot of you have probably encountered the 80/20 rule during your lifetime. In business, this rule is crucially important as it can help you direct your assets and time in the right direction. A first example could be the training process for new staff members: according to the Pareto Law, with 20% of industry knowledge, new staff members can do 80% of the work. So, concentrating on the most important 20%, you can create a compact training program that will get your new employees working faster. The same principle holds for lead.generation, customer enquiries, etc. If you have too much work on your hands, concentrate solely on the most important tasks. Find your 20%
- Automate what can be automated
As Tim Ferris once said “if you spend your time, worth $20-25 per hour, doing something that someone else will do for $10 per hour, it’s simply a poor use of resources.” (Tim Ferris – 4 Hour workweek). In many cases, right resourcing mean outsourcing or automation of business processes.
Robotic team on board, please
Automated technology is taking over tasks that previously required a lot of human resources; it is changing the work ethic, but yet, human error has not been eliminated. For example, by automating your marketing you can save a lot of time on repetitive tasks such as emailing clients or prospects. Automation can reduce employee spending, increase revenue, improve the accountability of both marketing and sales teams, and improve the client experience in general. The better you nurture your leads, the shorter workflow you can expect. If you manage to save your team a large amount of time, you can invest it in new-idea generation or making more sales calls. In 2015, 80% of those who implemented marketing automation claimed to have generated more leads, and even 77% had increased their conversions. Without doubt, it would maximize the efficiency of your team, as well as the quality and quantity of incoming leads.
Starting with marketing, you can continue with other business process management automation. Workflow automation can increase productivity and reduce human error. Examples of automated business processes are: employee reimbursement, lease orders, invoice and contract processing, basically anything requiring a routine, scheduling, notifications, or approval process. Think of what takes up 80% of your time and gives back only 20% of benefit to your business.
Good work no longer means working long hours. Efficiency is the goal every CEO should assign to the team. Turning off all the distracting notifications can become a new rule in the work environment, and multitasking ability should change to focus mastery. Self-reward will result in greater inner motivation to be efficient. As time will always be a limited resource, it is worth concentrating on 20% of the most important tasks that actually generate the profits. Automation is becoming a necessity, and with more robotic colleagues, you can reduce the possibility of human error and save yourself and your staff a lot of valuable time. Save your time and help your company prosper.