Three Business Strategies That Save You Time

We all know the phrase, “Time is money.” Truly, one of the most important aspects of the modern workplace is your ability to effectively manage your time, in order to get the best from yourself and to complete all the work tasks you’ve planned for your day, week and month.

So if you struggle to finish the assignments that you and/or your supervisor have agreed upon, use the following tips to help you accomplish these business goals in as little time as possible.

Strategy #1 – Know what you want

Not knowing what you want can eat up precious time, as this uncertainty allows you to vacillate between different options. Just watch the minutes go by as you try to decide on what goals to start with, what supplies you’ll need to accomplish them and how you plan to make it happen!

Nothing throws a wrench in a productive day better than not setting established goals ahead of time.  So instead, start your day with a clear idea of you want to accomplish during your working hours.

Also, it’s a good idea to anticipate ahead of time what you want to avoid. If you find yourself falling victim to common pitfalls, recognize them and address them throughout the day. Don’t overreach and set unrealistic, unmanageable goals for yourself – it can be heartbreaking to try and subsequently fail. Make it a priority to set realistic goals and give yourself plenty of time to accomplish them.

Be prepared! Once you’ve established your goals, have everything you need to power through your day ready and available. Instead of leaving your desk, going to wherever your supplies are, returning and then starting your project, have necessary items at your fingertips as this easy access will save you time.  For best results, make a list of your planned activities and create a column listing the supplies you’ll need for easy identification.

Strategy #2 – Stay organized

Write lists. Nothing can help smooth out your work day like a simple list. Prioritize, and then place the items that are most important at the top. Check off items on your list as you finish and get them done to provide a little extra incentive and motivation.

When it comes to making lists, you can use anything from a standalone task management software program to a simple Excel spreadsheet. If your work tasks are so complicated that a regular list won’t cut it, any of these tools can help you to pull all your information together in one place (including details such as supplies needed, due date, allotted time, deliverables, who you need to work with, and anything else related to the project).

Once your task list has been prioritized, schedule your tasks throughout the work day. Plan ahead by thinking through how you’re going to accomplish each task and how much time you can afford to spend on each item. Give yourself enough time for every task – you don’t want to place undue stress on yourself because of frugally-budgeted time. If you have more time than you need, bank it and get started on your next task.

Another idea that might help you stay organized is to self-evaluate. Take a look at your stated goals every week or so. Did you accomplish everything you set out to? What could you have done better? What specific business practices helped the most? Did you have any wasted time?  You can streamline your work and end up saving valuable time by evaluating each of these different criteria and using your results to improve the way you manage tasks and projects.

Strategy #3 – Start early and don’t stop!

For best results, tackle the hardest tasks on your agenda first. Owning a business or working at one provides a wide array of tasks that must be handled throughout the day. By starting off with the most intimidating items on your “to do” list, the rest of your daily tasks will seem like walk in the park.

There may be days when the temptation to give up is very strong – fight it! Instead of giving up, set smaller work-related goals to accomplish. Getting these tasks finished will boost your spirits, allowing you to address more difficult items with renewed vigor.

To keep your energy up, try having a snack ready for that 3:00pm slump. Although this might seem like common sense, having a healthy little something to eat – rather than another cup of coffee or a treat from the vending machine – will help to improve your afternoon and renew your energy.

Finally, another thing you can try to break up your afternoon is physical activity, like a walk around the office or some cubicle-ready exercises.  Even 10 minutes of physical effort is enough to get your blood pumping and your mental focus renewed.

Now, while any of the strategies described above can help you to save time and get more done throughout your work day, they certainly aren’t the only things that’ll make a difference in your overall productivity.  If you have any other business strategies that you use to save time, share your experiences and recommendations in the comments section below!

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