Do you have your own time management tips that you apply in your daily life? Do you know how you’re spending your time? Time is money. You hear that a lot, and for good reason! Paying attention to how you spend your day is key to understanding how much your time is worth, and what you can afford to spend that precious time on. As the new year just began, it is a good opportunity to reflect on your time management strategy and new tips to be more efficient with your time.
Time Management Tip #1: Know How You're Spending Your Time
Do you know how much time you spend on various tasks throughout your day? For instance, are you aware of how many hours you spend emailing your clients, or how much time is spent in meetings? Or just how much of that dreaded “other” category sucks the time from you, like a black hole in (office) space?
Knowing how you’re spending your time is key to get your time management under control. A good way to track your time is by employing a measurement tool (like MyAnalytics, an Outlook add-in) that will help you to keep track of how many hours you spend on emails, meetings, and other various activities throughout your day. As Microsoft says, MyAnalytics helps you focus on what matters most by providing personalized insights about how you spend your time at work.
However you end up tracking your time, the important thing to remember is that, once you have this valuable data, you can start to track your higher payoff activities and see which activities can be classified as less of a priority. This is a great way to manage your time.
Time Management Tip #2: Have Your Notes and Information in One Place
There’s nothing worse than starting to work on something, and then realizing that you’ve got bits and pieces of it stored in multiple locations. Does this sound familiar? You want to start a quote for a client, so you open up your company’s file server so you can get the quote template, search your email inbox for the client’s information, refer to your last meeting’s notes for the deliverables of the project that’s saved in your phone...
How much time did all those steps waste? Wouldn’t it be easier if all of your notes and information were in one place?
By using integrated and synchronized apps, like Office 365, you can shave valuable time off each of your projects. For instance, SharePoint and OneDrive, part of Office 365, are great Cloud-based file storage and sharing options that allow you and your team to create and edit documents using Microsoft Word, Excel or PowerPoint. And for those times that you need to refer back to your notes, SharePoint integrates seamlessly with OneNote, a classic note-taking application.
Using an integrated suite of products, like Office 365, helps you manage your time by cutting out any unnecessary steps in your work day.
Time Management Tip #3: Avoid Wasting Time with a CRM
You need to connect with your clients, but you’re not sure which ones you’ve reached out to recently. You spend time sorting through your emails to figure this out and next thing you know, you’ve lost two hours. Surely there’s a better way?
All businesses need to manage customer data effectively and efficiently, for maximum results. A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system is perfect for this. Microsoft Dynamics 365 is an example of a robust CRM, which allows for a multitude of time-saving features. For example, with Dynamics 365, you can manage your time by setting due dates, priorities, and reminders. These tasks that you set can be associated with your Accounts (customers), Contacts and Deals. This provides context-sensitive information at your fingertips.
Reports and dashboards are another great asset of CRMs – they provide quick and relevant information on priorities you should be focusing on. By pulling a report that shows you what Contacts have not been contacted in the last 30 days, you can prioritize which Accounts need your attention without spending time sifting through your emails. Of course, input = output. The data in a CRM is only as good as the person entering that data.
Time Management Tip #4: Save Time with Documentation
Documentation, especially in small businesses, usually takes a back seat to quick action and reaction. However, it’s a very important part of time management. Proper documentation ensures that you are on the right track for success with your projects. Without a proper documentation, you could waste hours, days, weeks, or months of your time.
How do you make sure documentation gets the attention it deserves so that everyone in your team can be organized, accountable, and aware of what needs to be done (and by when)? One helpful tool you can utilize is a content management system like SharePoint. It decreases the amount of information you need to document (and saves you time) by keeping all your documents in one centralized place that everyone in your team can have access to.
With SharePoint, not only do your documents have a centralized home that everyone in your organization can access, but you can take advantage of some of the automation shortcuts that are guaranteed to save time. Want to know how the SharePoint automation can save you time? Watch the short video.
Save Time with the 4 Time Management Tips for Small Business, Starting Today!
Time management is a common challenge for most businesses, but especially small to medium businesses like yours. With the right mindset and tools, your business can manage your time wisely and efficiently. Interested in learning about some of these time management tools that we talked about in this blog? Contact us!
This blog post is co-authored by ProServeIT and Change Connect. We publish a monthly blog specifically written for small businesses. Some of the topics we have discussed include security, CRM, Cloud computing, and Business Intelligence (BI). Click here to view a list of the previous co-authored blogs for small businesses.
As a multi-award winning Microsoft Gold Partner, ProServeIT has been helping SMBs increase their efficiency for over fifteen years. We’re constantly looking for ways to help our customers get the most out of their technology investments. Interested in some of the solutions that we discussed in this blog in order to be better at time management? Talk to us to see how we can help your organization with various tools!
About Change Connect
Change Connect specializes in helping clients to work more efficiently and effectively in pursuit of their revenue goals. We offer customized solutions for small to midsized businesses with a focus on Sales Transformation, which includes implementing strategic time management tips. Whatever stage your business is at, whether you’re a start-up looking to expand or an established company looking to move from a plateau to record growth, Change Connect is your partner in transformation. Change Connect – Making Sales Scalable.