Time: the one thing EVERYONE wants more of, and how you can manage yours more effectively.
I was recently reminded by LinkedIn I have been running my business, blueumbrella, for fifteen years. Where does the time go? I mean, really? This reminder also made me pause, look back and reflect.
Throughout this time, we have had the privilege of working with many fantastic people and amazing businesses. Businesses of every size, sector and shape you can imagine. I've learnt so much from these clients and from running my own business, that I wanted to take this opportunity to share some key insights we have discovered along our journey so far.
Business is only going to get faster and more complex. Technology, new challengers and constantly changing priorities affect how we operate and what products and services we provide. However, many of the same business issues arise again and again, whether you are a FTSE100 company, a small business or a sole trader.
The most common recurring theme we encounter is how to manage time effectively. We're all busy living complicated twenty-first century lives, and often it's easy to feel overwhelmed. We recently took time to speak to some blueumbrella clients and colleagues and gathered useful tips to help overcome these challenges.
A great and instructive exercise to start with is to analyse your time. Spend a week noting what you actually spend time on, rather than what you think you spend it on. You'll soon have a realistic picture of your schedule. Please see below for our five top tips on time management.
Don't just start. Take the time to plan your upcoming day/week.
Prioritise. It's often better to tackle the hard tasks first.
Learn to say no. It's impossible to do everything, be realistic.
Delegate. Learn to delegate properly and to the correct people.
Disconnect to reconnect. You're probably not going to make the best decisions at 2am!
Even Google, home to some of the smartest people on the planet, have issues with time management. So much so, that this amazing email, 'If you don't have time to read this email... read it twice' was sent around their people. You can also watch the video one Googler produced below:
I was particularly taken with their insight into how your energy levels 'run the course of a wave throughout the week' and how you should try to plan accordingly. The advice is to aim to do the following:
Monday: Energy ramps out of the weekend — schedule low-demand tasks like setting goals, organizing, and planning.
Tuesday, Wednesday: Peak of energy — tackle the most difficult problems, write, brainstorm, schedule your Make Time.
Thursday: Energy begins to ebb — schedule meetings, especially when consensus is needed.
Friday: Lowest energy level — do open-ended work, long-term planning, and relationship building.
I hope you found these tips and insights useful. If you have any time management methods you use, we'd love to hear from you. Drop us a line anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org
Founder & CEO, blueumbrella