I think, like any other person, your business hours must surely be the most important hours for you in your everyday routine. In fact, it’s the amount of productive work, which you do in your business hours which delivers you with monetary returns. So, the time you utilize in doing productive work would definitely count the most for you everyday.
Even then, it is very much likely that knowingly or unknowingly you would be wasting a lot of your business hours unnecessarily. It would certainly be affecting you in the form of delivering lesser profits and limiting your career growth. Even after making conscious efforts, you may still be finding it difficult to utilize your business hours most effectively.
Utilizing your business hours most effectively is an art in itself, which can be mastered by practicing it regularly. So, given below are some extremely useful suggestions to enable you utilize your business hours most effectively.
1. Manage Big Tasks By Breaking Them In Small Parts:
Generally, people are more prone to get stuck and drowned while working on big tasks. You would find it difficult to maintain a single-minded attention throughout while working on a big project.
I advice you to break big projects into small chunks. This will allow you to perform one task at a time and keep continuous focus on it. Enlist smaller chunks in your to do list and tick each of them as done after completing it. This way, you will be able to check your progress in the project and remain motivated to complete it.
2. Allocate Difficult Tasks For Your Prime Time:
Another point is that people tend to use more time in completing complex tasks. This problem can be eased by keeping complex tasks for your best working hours in the day. For most people, generally its the morning time but it differs from person to person. Such time is best suited for decision making and working most efficiently.
Doing so, will enable you to concentrate better on difficult tasks and complete them speedily. You will be able to perform the task in the best possible way and keep other routine tasks for the rest of the working hours.
3. Plan Your Daily Activities Earlier:
You may think planning your activities earlier is unnecessary. But by doing so, you will be able to organize your working hours effectively. It will save a lot of time spent otherwise in thinking about the next activity. You can plan about the working schedule during the earlier night or in the morning prior to starting your daily activities. When you implement your plan rightly, it will help you in completing your activities in due time.
According to a study, one hour of planning will save ten hours of doing. From this, you can understand the importance of planning and implementing it in the right way. Doing so, will save a lot of your working hours and leave you with additional time to do other activities.
4. Prioritize Your Tasks According To Its Importance:
Often, you will have a large number of tasks on your to do list. At this time, it is a better idea to prioritize the tasks according to its order of importance. List down all the tasks and mark them as ‘Do now’, ‘Do soon’, ‘Do later’ or ‘Don’t do’ categories. Then, implement the tasks according to the priority to get the most important works done first.
A time management research revealed that 20% of the average workday is spent on “crucial” and “important” things, while 80% of the average workday is spent on things that have “little value” or “no value”. So, you should try to spend more time on important activities and devote less time for less important tasks in order to get more and better business results.
5. Use Google Tasks To Organize Your Task List:
Most of the times, you will have a large number of tasks to be done in your to do list. It is advisable to use a task management tool to keep a track of your task list. Use Google Tasks to keep track of the things you need to do. Using Google tasks, you can create lists of items, set due dates and notes, and even add Gmail messages directly to tasks.
Just click and type to add new tasks, set due dates or add notes, and (most satisfyingly) check them off as you’re done. Your task list stays up to date no matter how you access it. It’s a simple list that’s with you everywhere you go.
Off-late, Google Tasks has changed considerably, adding an array of features – most notably among them being Google Calendar integration. This allows you to stay up-to-date with your complex task lineup and manage them according to a perfect date and time schedule.
6. Take Out Time For Breaks:
Just keeping on working at all the times is not necessary. Even you are a human-being who tends to get tired and needs a break at regular intervals. So, take out time for short breaks at regular intervals to keep you refreshed and enthusiastic continuously.
You can spend this break time on fun activities like spending time with friends or surfing Facebook. This will recharge your mental batteries and keep you working enthusiastically on business tasks.
According to a study, the average person gets 1 interruption every 8 minutes, or approximately 7 an hour, or 50-60 per day. The average interruption takes 5 minutes, totaling about 4 hours or 50% of the average workday. 80% of those interruptions are typically rated as “little value” or “no value” creating approximately 3 hours of wasted time per day.
Hence, one should take all the due care to not take so many breaks during the working hours. But one can definitely take around 3 to 5 short breaks per day. This will prevent wastage of business hours and enable you to follow a healthy working schedule.
7. Allocate Time For Work Analysis:
Spend five minutes before starting any new activity to think and decide what exact results you want to achieve from that task. This will give you clear idea about that task and how to carry it out. It will keep you motivated to perform the task efficiently and with perfection. After completing the task, spend five minutes analyzing whether your purpose was achieved or not. If not, think how you can achieve it from the further business tasks.
A time management study concluded that “if you always do what you’ve always done, you always get what you’ve always got.” To change our output, we must change our input. Thus, you must analyze business activities on the basis of not just work done but also the output received. Then only, you will be able to continue working on the most productive business tasks and invite better business results.
8. Develop Habits To Let You Start Working:
Most people face trouble while starting with the work. They find it difficult and irritating at most times to get on with their work. You can overcome this obstacle by develop positive habits that remind you and encourage you to get on with the work.
You can develop a fixed routine that reminds you that this is the work time. You can choose a specific place which is meant only for working seriously. You can even have a refreshing tea after which you need to immediately get on with your work. Such habits will encourage you to start with your work and do it efficiently.
Another study showed that people spend around 11 minutes on a project before getting distracted. Once distracted, they don’t return to the project for 25 minutes, if they return at all. Thus, try to develop work boosting habits, so that it can get you quickly back to your work.
9. Measure your results, not your time:
It might often happen that you keep working for long hours, but even then it produces very less results. Working for long hours providing fewer results cannot said as productive work. If you really want to work smarter and not harder, concentrate on producing maximum business results in minimum working hours.
This type of work optimization can be achieved by focusing on measuring business results and not your working time. This attitude will encourage you to focus on your work and do maximum amount of productive work.
A Final Note:
How we manage time during our business hours directly affects our professional lives. Knowing how you utilize your business hours, can help you identify wasted time. By developing positive working habits, you can convert the wasted time into productive business hours. This way, you will be able to undertake more business tasks helping you to enhance business success.
In the words of Peter F. Drucker, “Time is the scarcest resource of the manager; if it is not managed, nothing else can be managed.” So, you better start implementing the above mentioned suggestions to manage and utilize your business hours in the most efficient way.
So, what other ways do you suggest for utilizing business hours most effectively?