Why does it matter you have a time management system for work?
The UK is often labelled as a “low productivity” economy amongst the G7 economies. Compared to France we rank much lower. So, what do our peers do across the channel that we don’t.
According to the Guardian newspaper the French have a wonderful proverb; “if working hard made you rich, donkeys would be covered in gold”.
France works fewer hours and takes more holidays compared to us. We have a culture of longer hours on lower wages. If we look at the Nordic societies, they work even less hours and are quite productive people with a great work and life balance and much higher wages.
You will be familiar with the saying “it is not about working longer but about working smarter”
How many times have you heard this? So, what does it really mean?
Smarter working involves good time management. It will set you on your path to achievement
Time management is basically just the process where you are organising your tasks with some thought so giving priority to things that matters most.
How can you improve your time management at work?
These days you can download Apps on your phone or use a software/tool to help you get better with your own time management. But using these may not necessarily solve your problem if you are having trouble managing your time because many just give you a robotic process which does not feel human.
Time after all is a very human problem (or not) depending on how you see it. We are the only ones who are aware of time because we measure it.
Here we are sharing few tips with you that may help you to move towards better time management and get you a step closer to achieving your goals.
Learn to Delegate
This is easily said than done especially if you like having control over the work that is produced. However, the act of delegation is important in the workplace.
It is very common to think that it is quicker to complete a task yourself than to get someone else to do it. But this is short term thinking.
Delegation helps your team grow through practice. It gives others in your team an opportunity to try something new helping them to grow personally too. Gives them job satisfaction.
At the same time delegation empowers you to hone your own leadership skills.
Boundaries at work basically stops you from over committing. It doesn’t mean you become a “no” person. It just means you make others aware of what is on your plate.
According to Brene Brown setting boundaries is about having the courage to love ourselves.
To succeed in setting boundaries you need to communicate upfront. So, if you are not going to be able to complete a task for a client by a date they ask, let them know why and perhaps you can come up with an alternative together.
Similarly, if one of your team members is not able to deliver something within your time frame, have a look and see if some adjustments can be made.
Prioritise and re-prioritise
Once you have your tasks (after you have delegated some) think about priority. Which ones are important, and which can be moved back?
The recommendation is to have a list that contains all your tasks and highlight what’s urgent. Those urgent items should then be on your “to-do” list for the day.
Don’t be too rigid. Remember things change, so change with it within reason. Having set your boundaries in the first place you will hopefully then only be working on important tasks on any given day.
Have a system
As mentioned above there are many task and time management tools out there in the market. We do not advocate you rush out to buy them. Nor do we think they are always necessary.
In the office we use Microsoft 365 and you can set tasks with dates and times so it will remind you of what you need to do.
Use Outlook to block time in your calendar for certain tasks so you do not organise conflicting activities.
We even use lists. If you walked around the office most of us will have some sort of a list on our desk.
Tip: start your day with the easy tasks to give you some satisfaction and release those endorphins!
This is when you try and do two thigs at once. In other words, juggling. With juggling there is always a risk you are going to drop something.
We’re wired to be “monotaskers” which means our brains can only focus on one thing at a time. Only a few of us can multitask so the rest of us take much longer when we try and do too much at the same time.
Does it matter if you have poor time management skill at work?
In our profession, time management is a key skill and improvement in this area is encouraged. After all there is only limited hours in a day!
Poor time management can lead to procrastination and delayed and poor-quality decisions at work. It can often cause stress and an imbalance in the work/life situation.
We know many of you running your own business often get swamped! So much so that you can lose sight of where you are going. You are working too many hours and wonder what you are doing wrong.
In an age where we care about mental health for ourselves and our colleagues, good time management is a skill that we all need to learn because it avoids stressful situations causing anxiety and has the potential to lead to poor overall health.
Great time management will make sure you keep on track and achieve your ambitions. As your Accountant we are here to help. We do a lot more than sorting out your books and saving you tax. We’ll be your sounding board so talk to us about this and any other areas that impacts on your and your business.