Effective time management is becoming increasingly important. Many people struggle to accomplish their tasks and goals within the available time. This is especially challenging for all businesses, where inefficiency costs time and resources.
Specific systems for effective time management are crucial in achieving success in business. Ambitious business goals are important, but achieving them efficiently can prove challenging. Time management systems provide structures and techniques that can aid in managing time and performing tasks more effectively.
Entrepreneurs can optimize their business production and organization with the help of a time management tool.
Learn below more about this topic in this article created by our team at Trafft.
Time Management Systems for Businesses
Time management systems have distinctive features to appeal to a variety of businesses. An effective time management system must be able to do the following:
- Consider all relevant activities
- Guide how and when to do a certain activity
- Motivate to tackle a specific task
- Give reminders on when to commence and finish a task to avoid time pressure
- Refrain from over-scheduling
- Accommodate short-term and unforeseen changes
- Determine priorities
Time management tools come in many shapes and forms. Some are simple exercises, others are more elaborate philosophies and lifestyles. Some tools simply require a piece of paper, while others involve a more sophisticated digital platform. Therefore each business should consider their needs and preferences and it does take time and effort to become familiar with a new time management tool.
The 1-3-5 Goal
The 1-3-5 rule is a basic time management technique. It simply encourages a person to tackle one big task, three medium tasks, and five smaller ones every day.
The philosophy behind this technique is that it is easier to stay on top of activities if you have a small, structured list of prioritized items.
Kanban is the Japanese word for signboard. A kanban is the cornerstone of this tool, and it implements the power of visualization. With one glance, all persons involved in performing the task can see what needs to be done. The kanban will be divided into three columns: to do, in progress, and finished. This can be done with a physical board such as a whiteboard with sticky notes. It can also be electronic. This approach shows the current status and priority of each task.the
This file system allows you to plan and set reminders for up to two years ahead. Physically, it requires 31 folders and a desk drawer with enough room for storage. Each folder is labeled with numbers from 1 to 31, corresponding to days of the month. Whenever an activity comes up, the pertinent documents are filed according to their due date. This is then expanded into 12 folders, corresponding to the 12 months of the year. Two more folders are added for the next two years. At the end of each day, the folder for the next day is checked and activities are scheduled accordingly.
This can be practically stored in a filing cabinet. An electronic version of this system is also possible.
It requires time to learn how to use it, but many business enterprises have successfully implemented this system.
The Franklin-Covey System
The Franklin-Covey time management system was first developed and used by Benjamin Franklin. Stephen Covey popularized it later in the twentieth century as a tool for highly effective people.
This system centers on the idea that it is important to have a very clear set of goals to determine short and long term priorities. This will motivate staff to spend quality time on tasks with the highest priority and urgency.
The Franklin-Covey approach works well for people with personal motivation or a mission. It demands a strong sense of self-discipline to constantly review goals, and set new short-term tasks and priorities. If this philosophy is applied in a business setting, it will require the right team and organizational support.
The Seven-Minute Life
To beat procrastination and increase her daily work productivity, Allyson Lewis, a financial adviser, created the 7 Minute Life. In its basic form, it only requires a piece of paper.
It asks a person to utilize seven minutes in the morning and evening respectively in planning and setting goals, which is equivalent to 1% of a day. Allowing no more and no less than seven minutes to carefully plan and think of important things to do for the day helps increase productivity and focus. Doing this daily improves time management and organizing skills.
The Pomodoro Technique
Named after a tomato-shaped kitchen timer, the Pomodoro time management technique was developed in 1992, and it is considered to be one of the simplest and easiest techniques to effectively manage time. As the name implies, it requires a kitchen timer. It divides working hours into quick intervals and short breaks.
Distractions and other interruptions often hinder maximum productivity. The Pomodoro technique requires staff to give full attention to a certain task, but for a short amount of time. The task at hand is boxed in uninterrupted time frames of 25 minutes, followed by a break of five minutes. A timer gives a visible idea of having limited time, and it helps increase concentration. An incentive can also be added to beat the clock.
The Now Habit
The Now Habit is a great tool to help overcome procrastination. The idea behind it was developed by Neil Fiore. As a student and later as a psychologist, he struggled to achieve his goals because of procrastination.
It starts with filling a weekly calendar with your current commitments. This can include travel time, recurring meetings, sleep, socializing, etc. The rest of the work is scheduled around those activities. The idea is to prompt a person to spend at least 30 minutes of uninterrupted quality time on a certain project.
The Now Habit encourages people to start and finish working on a given task as quickly as possible. Finishing the tasks sooner provides more opportunities for leisure. The focus time is set to 30 minutes initially, which helps to increase concentration and overcome procrastination. When focus improves, these periods can be extended.
The Autofocus time management system was founded by Mark Forster, an expert and a well-respected author in time management. Autofocus is based on the assumption that you will perform better and faster at a task you enjoy. The idea of autofocus is mainly intuitive, therefore, one must have motivation before starting a task. Motivation stimulates you to begin work on the most enjoyable activities, and then move on to the next one when finished, or when you get bored.
The great advantage of Autofocus is that it raises productivity and lowers stress. It allows you to focus on an important task and do that job well.
Time blocking helps to establish a routine by splitting up time into “blocks”, with each time block focusing on a particular task. This helps to mentally prepare for the specific time blocks and gives predictability to a workday or week. This technique works particularly well for people who have several meetings in a day yet also have to engage in some recurring tasks. Its structure and order help to focus on performing a task within a defined timeframe.
Google Calendar or similar calendar applications can be used to assign time blocks throughout the day or week. Simply indicate what each time block is dedicated to. It is recommended to do this kind of planning every week. It is useful to check for any changes in the schedule at the beginning of the day. The Time blocking technique can also be applied using a paper planner or a notebook.
Writing down commitments helps in a couple of different ways. By creating a list of commitments, it’s easier to map them out and keep track of work progress. It turns an idea or commitment to something visible and verifiable. It helps the brain remember all of your commitments.
Commitments can be written down on a piece of paper, a dedicated notebook or planner, a computer file, or even on phone. However, simply writing it down does not mean that it will get done. All this information needs to be gathered and transferred into a time management software or tool.
Batching is great for accomplishing small endeavors. Every small task takes around five minutes to finish. These many small tasks can be added together, creating a batch. Scheduling a time to do all of them at once is more efficient.
Doing each of these shorter tasks in between other projects is a more common approach, but it also takes time to build up focus. Dispersing them shifts the focus from bigger projects and even small ones. Batching tasks is a means of paying adequate attention to everything.
Ending thoughts on these time management systems
Every entrepreneur has a long list of necessary tasks. Some may feel that they have complete control over everything and that they do not need a system. The reality is, time management systems will ensure the completion of tasks on time, every time.
Some tasks might be overlooked, causing problems with your professional reputation and deadlines. Incorporating time management systems into the work routine will help gain control over time and increase productivity. Good time management reduces overwhelming stress and anxiety caused by procrastination and tight schedules.
The available time management tools vary in complexity and resources required. Some tools only require a piece of paper, while others are structurally more sophisticated and complex. Advanced technology now available makes it easier to find the right time management system that suits a business’s needs. Using a time management tool, coupled with self-discipline, will help you remain organized and in control of your business.
If you enjoyed reading this article about time management systems, you should read about why time management is important.
Do you want an app for that? We also selected the best time management apps, but also free time management apps for tight budgets, and if you’re looking for a time tracking app, we picked the best of them.