To be successful, an entrepreneur has to be pretty darned good at managing their time. But how? Managing HOW you do tasks is a critical skill for both business and personal success.
The “What” and “How” of Task Management
In the days of TQM (Total Quality Management) I used to introduce the concept of the two dimensions of any task:
- What you do – this includes tasks, projects, maintenance, and items on your to-do list. You can either do the right things or the wrong things.
- How you do things – this includes your processes, systems, workflows, and approach to your work and daily tasks. You can either do things right or do things incorrectly (wrong).
Arguably every task you complete has these two dimensions: What you do and How you do it. The trick to managing your time well and fitting it all in while focusing on work that matters is in your approach to focus. Ideally, you want to focus your efforts on doing the right things the right way.
When you focus on the right things, you’re likely contributing to your business results, and bottom line. Additionally, your focus on how to do things right, helps to reduce wasted time by making sure tasks are done the “right way”.
[Tweet “The trick to managing your #time, is to spend your time “doing the right things, right” “]
That may sound a little circuitous… but if you go back and read it again, it really does make sense. If you can’t do things the right way easily, it’s up to you to find others who can accomplish those results for you.
As a business owner, you should spend your valuable time on the tasks that offer the highest return. All other tasks can be delegated!
You can virtually spend your work time in any way. Focusing your time on the activities that offer the highest return on your investment becomes increasingly important as your income potential grows with your business. If you can hire other people at a lower rate to do things better (or faster) than you do, it’s a much better return for your business dollars because ultimately it costs you less in time and stress than if you attempted to do those technical skills yourself.
5-Steps To Manage “How” To Do It
As a business owner, it is important to consider how you do things when you wanted to reduce costs save time and make more room in your schedule. Even if you’re just starting out, it’s easy to document your business systems and workflows.
To do so, follow this process:
- It’s best to begin with the end in mind and start by defining your end result: “Weekly blog post written, proofed, staged and scheduled.”
- Add a time-assignment to stay on track: “by Monday at 4pm.”
- Write out the steps you currently follow to complete the task today.
- Assign responsibilities. (Hint, if you are responsible for every task, it’s probably time to seek assistance and delegate).
- Identify how you will maintain and communicate about them. (This is incredibly important if you have someone working for you).
Most business tasks can easily be documented but you may even consider extending this practice to the workflows you use when managing your home and children effectively as well.
Systems and workflows help you manage how you implement anything in your life. Workflows can easily be implemented to help you manage your home and children effectively as well. Thinking about the best way to do things can sometimes save you a great deal of time. Asking for input from friends and other small business owners and entrepreneurs can save you loads of time and mistakes.
Managing HOW you need to do something is a critical skill for both business and personal success.
How Do You Do It?
What systems have worked for you? How do you focus on the right things? How have you improved your approach to do things better? What helps you manage time at home and in your business? Please share your wisdom and tips in the comments.