Time Management: 7 Techniques & Methods for Entrepreneurs and Managers

Time Management: 7 Techniques & Methods for Entrepreneurs and Managers
Ekaterina Ryzhikova
April 28, 2021
Last updated: April 28, 2021

Anybody who has led a team–particularly in startups–will know that time management skills are critical to success. This catch-all concept encompasses productivity, priorities, and future planning, and with so many people working from home, it is more important than ever.

Although it is something we’ve been taught since we were children, it’s still a major issue for companies. But that’s not to say it’s an unachievable goal. You can implement processes to improve your scheduling, and there are all kinds of tools out there to help you.

So for some time management tips to make your team’s organization an asset, read on below.

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1. Track time for repetitive tasks

Peter Drucker, one of the world’s greatest management consultants, said “If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.”

Time is a specific measurable and being able to plan for a productive week relies on knowing how long tasks take. Of course, some jobs are more unpredictable than others, so focus on what you can control and set aside a set amount of hours to complete these tasks.

You might encounter some resistance from your team when introducing time tracking technology, so it’s important to know why you want to implement it and clearly communicate that to your team.

If you’re new to time tracking, Bitrix24’s free Task Time Tracking tool is a great way of organizing your team and identifying when jobs may pass their deadlines.

2. Value your time–and that of your team members

If you’ve successfully set up a time-tracking process, this next step is going to be pretty easy.

With time slots identified for urgent, daily tasks, you can let everybody know that your team is not to be disturbed. This helps to achieve that seemingly impossible 21st-century goal of concentration.

Being constantly “on-call” can also affect your team’s mental health, especially now as working from home can blur the line between work and home life. Burnout has come under the microscope recently, so by being smart about your time tracking strategy, you can improve more than just productivity. Bitrix24’s guide to Effective Time Tracking for Remote Teams goes into more details on the specifics of handling working-from-home offices.

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3. Frequent communication to boost productivity

Although a lot of people have been able to thrive when working from home, concentration and motivation are still an issue for many people outside of the office. When your team is spread out, it’s your job to keep tabs on how they’re progressing.

There have been complaints in the past year about micromanagement that often led to worker burnout. This means that any communication you do must be in an understanding, rather than an accusatory way.

Short, frequent one-to-one communication can make scheduling clearer by cutting out massive email chains, allowing your team to speak freely and identifying any roadblocks you may have. You can also check on deadlines ahead of time, and keep everybody’s tasks on track.

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4. The art of delegating

This is especially important for first-time managers or entrepreneurs. For example, if you go from a lead designer to running your own studio, you may find it difficult to keep your hand out of the nuts and bolts of the design process.

Entrepreneurs, especially, often find it difficult to organize their day. Not only do they have a lot of tasks to deal with, but it is hard not to intervene on your own project. Understanding the importance of delegating and setting clear roles for your team is a key tactic in how to manage time.

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5. Keep your meetings short and sweet

Planning meetings well is a crucial part of all good time management strategies.

Before the meeting, make sure you give attendees enough information on what the meeting will be about, what it aims to achieve, and anything they can prepare for it. This will keep people focused and saves time on level setting and explanations.

Appoint someone to lead each meeting, whether it's you or one of your team members. This person's role is to keep people on task and monitor timing.

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6. You don’t need to reply to emails immediately

Replying to emails can be seriously detrimental to your concentration, yet so many of us ping that “reply all” as if it’s a race. Apart from being an immediate distraction from what you were previously working on, task switching requires time and effort to refocus and is a huge drain on productivity.

Imagine your emails are physical people. Would you drop everything as soon as someone asks you a question? Or would it be better for everybody to dedicate a set time each day to fully focus on those questions? It’s important to value your own time by setting aside periods to deal with emails–not dipping in and out throughout the day.

Of all the time management tips here, this is the easiest one to adopt on a personal level.

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7. Work out your priorities and get them done

Working out your priorities is an incredibly effective way of getting a handle on your scheduling and you don’t need special software to implement it. Why not organize a daily stand-up meeting to go over the most urgent tasks for your team? Set goals on a piece of paper each morning, keep it short, and you can check your progress throughout the day.

And the advantages of prioritization go beyond your working life. There’s nothing better for your mental health than feeling positive and ready to start your day. Learn what boosts your mood outside of your job, and prioritize it, even if it’s hard. Exercise and meditation are two common hobbies that are great for your personal life, but also pay dividends in concentration at work.

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Over to you

Incorporating time management apps and techniques such as these will help you get all the essentials done and focus on the more exciting, creative tasks.

Whether you’re an entrepreneur or an in-house manager, you’ll already know the importance of time management and how much of a make-or-break factor it can be. Following these techniques, you’ll be able to monitor what works and what doesn’t, and take your business to the next level.

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