Saturday, November 9, 2019

Do You Take Time Management in Business Seriously?

Prove it! In the comments below, (or Tweet me a reply @joanncorley) share an example of how you consistently demonstrate this - one time attempts don't count. How about for your team?

If you can't, read on.

One of my main passions is helping people get more of what they want! My life's work has been to do this and in recent years have been primarily focused on helping fellow business owners, entrepreneurs and founders.

In doing this, I've notice in the business advice- business coaching space that there are a lot of big innovations and ideas promoted. They have a loud voice and get a lot of attention, such as AI, big data - you know the big flashy, sexy stuff.

Yet, in my 22+ some years in business, here's what I've learned - it's the simple fundamentals of how we work - how we run a business/department/team - that have the most impact and yet seem to be the most overlooked. 

A related example is sports. Consider basketball, it's those who are exceptional at the fundamentals that have the best stats and create the most wins.

My goal in my consulting work is to keep redirecting the focus of my fellow business colleagues to the fundamentals and help them stay focused on becoming exceptional at the elements of running a business that matter most and have the most impact. Once those are solidified, then attention can be turned to the popular shiny objects of the day.

A Grossly Ignore Business Fundamental
One of the most essential elements to business success and in my view one that's not given the attention it needs is time management. I think folks are kind of numb to it. Perhaps because we've had eras of hyper-attention to it. I've been around long enough to observe attention ebb and flow around this topic over the years.

No matter what attention the popular market gives to it, it is still a crucial,  non-negotiable element of life and work - time is our life...lived in moments, minutes, weeks, months and years. This truth also makes it a non-negotiable element of business and therefore needs to have a central focus.

If it hasn't been for you, then I invite you today to change that! I am here to help! So let's start with this question: Do you need to practice better time management?

In truth, how you use time, work with time, the time management skills you do or don't develop impact your career, your pay, your leadership and management, your relationship with customers and collectively your profits. 

This suggests a hard core fact - time management in business is no joke! It shouldn't be treated as a casual after-thought or a "nice training seminar" to have when we can get to it or afford it. 

If you're not strategically managing time - you are wasting money and/or losing money!

And here's another time management crazy truth -  if you own and operate a small business or are a senior leader, poor time management can even impact the quality of your family relationships and your profits. Man...that is a double whammy!

Your relationship to time spills over into your relationship to others - at home and work.

So it's safe to say practicing good time management along with your employees' time management directly impacts your business success. In fact having very thoughtful, effective time management strategies that you create with your employees are an important element of team management.

Time is a Business Asset
Like money, time is an asset...and since this is true, we need to be keenly aware of the role it plays as a business partner. Ever considered time your business partner? And like any asset how we use it, leverage it, is crucial to the results we get - how effective we are.

There are tons of examples of how time impacts profits. Here are a few simple ones: 
  • how much time it takes to respond to a complaint 
  • how much time it takes for a customer to receive a product or refund, 
  • how much time it takes to get to a live customer service person
  • how much time it takes to fill out a form online (this is really an issue in recruiting),  
  • Amazon's implementation of the 1 click feature (that simple customer service offering was all about saving time when ordering online...I've ordered more because of it).
  • how much time it takes for a client to experience a meaningful result 
  • and even how much time it takes for a team member to do their work
Time is a fundamental measuring stick to almost everything is business! And that's why
you can see that much overused phrase "time is money" practically, very real.

Here's my conclusion. As it relates to business, I think we take time for granted. So if you're looking for ways to improve your business operations and profits. Consider your use of time. It's usually not the first business improvement idea a leader thinks of, yet it is one that can have the most significant impact.

Action Item: Do a time audit - starting with you and your day to day activities. Do you know how your time is spent as the key business leader of your business or department? You can do a time audit through time mapping. Take a week-at-a -glance sheet of paper and simply track in time blocks, what goes on in your day. - here's quick video briefing on the concept, plus a few more tips.

Time Management Resources
So, if you know and really want to practice better time management...become a time management ninja,  I recommend the following:

1. Follow this blog -- it's your free choice for practical how-tows... I'll be focusing on this topic for the next several posts, which I'll eventually turn into an online time management course.

2. If you need to improve both your time management and organizational skills - then pick up my book and/or audio book (on iTunes, Spotify and Amazon Music) Organizational Strategies for the Overwhelmed | If you've made it all the way through this post- email me and I'll send you a  complimentary pdf version:

Organizational Strategies for the Overwhelmed - how to manage your time, space, & priorities, to work smart, get results & be happy - Kindle or Book - Nook - Audio Book 
Other readings in the Kindles Shorts Section: Kindle & Nook:  Declutter Your Life From The Inside Out |  Your Life Through the Lens of Time 

3. If you are in the role of executive leadership, owner, founder, senior leader, department head, business unit leader, consider our senior management development opportunity. It's a 60 day coaching intensive called The 3 Disciplines: Boost Your Executive Effectiveness in 60 Days, based on the book The Effective Executive by Peter Drucker.

Oddly enough some folks, especially emerging executives or those new to a role with increased responsibilities need an execution coach (notice that wasn't "executive" but execution). Having one particularly during the ramp-up period is great way to quickly get a handle on getting good results, effectively managing and minimizing overwhelm as you're experiencing stretching your capacity and adapting to a new role and expectations. Learn more here.

4. Our Time Management Skills resource link => go here

A final note: Your effectiveness as a leader is the first of our 9 building blocks within our Effective Executive's Blueprint for Smart Management. It's a comprehensive road map to improve people management while refining operations and developing competent managers (in effect it's a great tool for managing the managers). Additionally, you could consider it the ultimate people skills for managers training. It is a very unique resource for effective management training and development. Read an introduction here.

Related articles: 

Leadership Tip: Boost Your Impact - Be An Executive!

What's A Little Known Coaching Method That Can Quickly & Dramatically Improve Your Results?

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