From the moment the first sundial was set in place, time management became A Thing. Now, there is an ever-growing number of contenders for our time and attention. Simultaneously, new technology has brought our search for precision down to the second, and beyond. Far from the Mayan calendars that led to predictions of disaster in 2012, we now have much more accurate information about time, and how we pass it.
Still, disaster could be in your future as a business owner if you don’t make time management a priority. If you intend to be a successful entrepreneur, you better have a plan in place. In his article for Forbes, Why Time Is Your Most Important Business Resource, Chris Porteous boldly states,
“…managing your time properly is by far
the most important element of success
in today’s market.” – Chris Porteous
Warning: Failing to consider how you use this important resource could lead to an apocalypse for your company! In this post, we have some areas and points to consider.
Time Management: Timely Truths You Need to Hear Now
Accountability is a must.
In his article, Porteous recommends using an app to monitor exactly what you do with your hours. The point is that you can’t know what or how to change until you know where you are. Do you have any idea how much time you spend on payroll, for example? Really? Research suggests that we are wildly inaccurate when “guesstimating” how much time we spend on any given activity.
And you know the old adage: Time is money.
When you get the objective data, be prepared to take action.
Decide to truly find out where you’re allocating your time responsibly, and where you’re allowing it to slip through your fingers. This can be eye-opening. It will take some honesty as well as acceptance on your part. You may find out that there are areas where you need to dig into some serious delegation. You may find out that you need to hire more employees! Or avail yourself of the services of a contractor. If it took you 2 hours to get a 30-minute task done because you wanted to D-I-Y rather than spend money on a professional, did you really save money, or did you waste time?
Use your time.
Let’s introduce an entirely new way of looking at time. See it as a resource, the same as any other resource that you elect to use and try to control. Your cash is a resource, and you (hopefully) track it. Your employees are a resource, and we can assume that you supervise them, or hire qualified others to do so. Do you think about your time as money?
Have you ever thought of time as your employee?
If your time were money, would you take a hefty sack of it, lift it to a rooftop and upend it so that the costly contents fell to the gathering masses below? That would be ridiculous, wouldn’t it? You’re not Santa Claus. (Are you? Santa, is that you?) You’re generous, but you have bills to pay. You can’t afford to literally throw money away.
Next, conceptualize your time as an employee. Let’s say you walk into your business, and your employee is leaning against a wall, texting or playing a game on their phone when they’re supposed to be working. Would you let that slide? Of course not!
As a business owner, you’re always on the clock. Minutes are passing, whether you’re working or not. This certainly doesn’t mean that you have to spend every waking second in a state of productivity, but it does mean that you need to make the hours you’ve decided to give to your business really count. Manage your time the same way you invest your money or guide an employee.
Calculate your company’s time.
Corporate personhood aside, it would be to your advantage if you looked at how your company spends its time the same way that you would a living, breathing individual. In many ways, your business is living and breathing – your business is certainly doing things.
Think of considering not just how much money, but also how many weeks or months your business is devoting to certain projects, concerns, and ventures. Is it worth it? Suppose you produce a product or offer a service that brings in a lot of money. Let’s say it took you five years to develop that product or service. Now that you finally have it on the market, demand is trending elsewhere. Your income from the product you spent so much energy on is finite. Wouldn’t you rather have that time back to devote to something more lasting?
One of the worst things a business owner can do is become stubborn. A lot of time is lost when entrepreneurs are determined to bring the world something the world may not want, all because they have an unshakable belief in the idea.
While that level of faith is important for success, it’s important to believe generally in your business. Believe in your ability to create, develop and sell a product or service. Don’t allow your business to become dependent on any one product or service, or aspect of a product or service.
Persistence in opposition to reality is a time stealer.
Evaluate employees’ time.
This is probably the one you think you have covered. Employees clock in, they clock out. Everything is on the up and up. You have managers in place to make sure that employees are making the most of their time while they’re at work. If an employee tends to dawdle or dillydally, you boot them out the door!
Not so fast.
There may be some things to consider here. You may be sending away an excellent employee, or some valuable information. Is your employee bored? Why? If your employee isn’t excited about what your business is doing, is there a chance that potential clients won’t be excited either? Perhaps your employee has some bold ideas for how things might work better at your company. Maybe instead of terminating your employee, you need to gather feedback. Their insights may be hard to hear, but necessary for crucial changes.
Also, research reveals that taking short breaks throughout the day actually increases productivity. Are your employees engaging in time wasters, or boosting their creativity? While the work-until-you-drop mentality is still alive and kicking, we are becoming increasingly aware that power naps and frequent snacks are better for us.
The best thing to do here may be to pause before you take any final action or throw down the ax. Call your employee in. Have your employee justify to you how they spend their time. Try to take an attitude of curiosity rather than accusation. Give them a chance. The response they give may actually be vital to your business, and to employee productivity.
Have a system in place.
How long do employees stand around waiting to clock in for their shifts? If you have a universal start time for your work day, that line could get pretty long! And if something happens to break down with your technology, that could mean a huge headache for you, with hours wasted trying to figure out payroll.
With myPayWow, the employee app from PayWow, we turn your employees’ phones into the time clock! Employees can use the app to clock in or out for their shifts or breaks. PLUS, employees can go into the app to request time off, update important information, as well as sign important forms and documents that you need!
Check out PayWow today to find this and other amazing features for your business!
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