If you are the sort of person who never seems to have enough time in the working week, to get all your work done, then maybe it’s time to start considering a new approach.
There are plenty of ways to tackle time management, but one key principle is to use your own valuable time for tasks that you are really skilled at; and get other people to do those tasks you are less able at, or perhaps deliver a lower return per hour than your key skill.
To put this another way, if your skills lie in business development, sales, or managing a team, then you should not really be spending your time on preparing documents, or chasing up invoice payments. In an ideal world, you should have other members of the team handling those tasks for you.
It’s hard to step back and do this, particularly if you run your own business, and started from nothing. At the beginning, your sole focus is on spending as little as possible, and this often means you get to do everything yourself. Frequently, even in small but growing businesses, this philosophy continues, with bosses involving themselves in everything, as they fear losing control and letting other people complete key tasks. But, in order to grow a business, delegation is essential.
The good news is, if you want to manage your time more effectively, you can do so without going to the trouble of hiring new staff right away. The thought may be a scary one, as you will need to pay them a regular wage, handle tax and National Insurance, allow for their holidays and so on. But there’s a simple alternative – hire a virtual assistant. A VA can be hired for a specific amount of time, or simply to complete key tasks, and will simply bill you for what they have done.
Time management means planning ahead, and a virtual assistant can help you many ways around. They can plan and organise travel for business meetings in your calendar, or simply take the burden of key administrative tasks from you. They can handle emails, reply to inquiries and follow up to ensure your invoices are sent out, and get paid in a timely manner.
Time management is also about managing the amount of work you take on. Perhaps you are overtrading, trying to do more than you can effectively do – in which case, everything suffers, while you delude yourself that everything is fine, when you are simply too busy.
So, take the first step in time management today. Make a list of what needs doing; and be realistic about the tasks on that list, which you could pass to a virtual assistant to handle more efficiently. Then pick up the phone and call – you’ll be glad you did!