Just like fuel, utilities, and suppliers, time is a resource that costs your business money. After all, you pay people to spend their time working for you. Of course, that means you need to think carefully about how those working for you use their time, otherwise, you could find yourself out of pocket. The good news is that there are some clever ways you can save time when running your business. Read on to find out what they are.
If you have ever responded to an employee asking what task they should complete first, with ‘everything is a priority’ then you need to address your understanding of how prioritization works. Indeed, a priority is a task that has priority over others, that is it should be done first. Therefore priority necessitates a hierarchical structure in some form, meaning one task needs to sit further to the top of the to-do list than another.
Of course, there is a range of techniques you can use to establish which tasks are more important than others. One of the most effective options for this is known as the Eisenhower matrix.
The Eisenhower Matrix is a four-square grid that can help you decide where you or your employees should be spending the precious resource that is their time. All you have to do is draw it out, and then place each task in one of the boxes labeled, urgent and important, urgent and unimportant, not urgent and important, and not urgent and not important.
Indeed, each box is associated with a priority position and action:
- Urgent and Important – high priority – do now
- Not urgent and important – medium-high priority – decide and schedule
- Urgent and unimportant – medium-low priority – delegate
- Not urgent and not important – low priority – drop/ delete
Another way to preserve the precious resource of time is to use automation in your business. Automation preserves time because machines and software can run 24/7 and maintain a consistently high quality of product, unlike their human counterparts.
There are two ways to use automation in your business to save on time. The first is to automate physical processes such as manufacturing, or picking and packing with robots. While the second is to automate office-based processes with software.
Indeed, many office-based procedures can be automated to save time, and free up employees to work on more complex tasks. In particular, finding an automated service that offers reliable payment optimization can be an excellent way of saving time. This is because processing payments in the right way to all your suppliers can be very time-intensive indeed. Especially as many require different methods. However, by automating optimization you can make sure payments work for both your suppliers and your business without having to dedicate excessive amounts of time to the task.
Drop the idea of multi-tasking
News flash! Multitasking doesn’t exist! Instead, it’s a terrible waste of time because employees switch their focus from one task to another very fast. Unfortunately, working in this way may seem impressive to those around them, but in reality, it ends up doing more harm than good.
This is because it takes time for the human mind to refocus and get back up to speed on the task at hand, something that means time will be wasted if workers are expected to switch content focus all the time.
Instead, encouraging batching similar tasks to be done in a run over a set amount of time is a much more efficient way of working. Indeed, batching works particularly well when it comes to communications like emails, and instant messaging because the constant notifications and work interruptions are one of the biggest time drains around.
Plan in more time than you will think you need
When it comes to delivering client projects, making sure you have additional time in case anything goes wrong is vital. Then you will have time to fix things or make changes without having to disappoint or inconvenience your client.
Indeed, it’s always better to err on the side of caution with deadlines, because things frequently do go wrong or become delayed, especially if you have tasks that are dependent on the work of others or third-party outsourcers.
Also, by adding a little extra time into the client deadline, if you do happen to complete ahead of schedule you will be using the tactic of underpromising and over-delivering. Something that can help to impress your customer, and keep them coming back time and time again.