For most, if not all, entrepreneurs who decide to start a business, the goal is usually the same, success. One thing that will make most entrepreneurs believe they have achieved success is profit, or in other words money. This leads many to believe that monetary status is the most important aspect of keeping a business running with positive momentum. However, while the importance of cash flowing into the company is obviously very important, nothing is as important or should take precedence over the value of time.
Time Management Defined
Time is difficult to earn yet very easy to spend. It is more common to hear someone complain about not having enough time than having too much time. In the business world there is never enough time to do all that needs doing. Time is an exhaustible resource that must be replenished daily before it can be used again. Time is also volatile and is rarely ever under tight control. Although many plan to use their daily allotted amount of time for various tasks, rarely by the end of the day has it turned out that way.
“Time is what we want most, but what we use worst.”
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What is the Value of Your Time?
In our personal, everyday lives, although we don’t always value our time, we get through each day fine and wait for our ration of time the next day so we can try to use it better. However, in the business world, time must be managed more efficiently. Owners, managers, supervisors all the way down to employees spend the whole working day trying to produce as much as possible (or at least look like they are) before the day’s time runs out. Every hour and minute (and in some cases seconds) are usually calculated ahead of time to determine how much can be accomplished within that day. Those who truly value time will manipulate its usage in such a way as to always seem to have more of it than others with the same workload. This is better phrased as “time-management”. This is one overlooked skill that should be given more attention by hiring managers during interviews and supervisors who try daily to get the most productivity available out of their workforce. As important as time-management is to the everyday effectiveness of a business, there are still some who don’t quite understand what it is or why it is a benefit to use it and not just another task.
An Explanation of Time Management
So, what is time management? Well, in the simplest of explanations it is the management of time. More specifically, it means to take control of your allotted time and use it in a way that coincides with your daily goals. There are some who don’t value time. Usually not maliciously or even knowingly, they will waste time for themselves and ultimately for their company because they don’t see time as an asset that must be controlled. Some people will allow someone to talk to them for a length of time that can make them late or miss appointments. The person doing the talking didn’t value the listener’s time, while the listener didn’t value their own time enough to cut the conversation short and to use it for more effective purposes, like making it to the appointment. Some people see the value of time but can’t control it enough to make use of it. Many like to make plans for the future and work towards those goals but manage their time so poorly that they either change or abandon those goals as unreachable. The point is, time is an asset that must be carefully managed and known for its value before it can be used for productivity.
Tools for Managing Time
There are many tools that were specifically created to help people keep time in check and make its management more tolerable to those that see its value. Watches help us see how much time we’ve used, the current time we are present in, and how much time we have left. Alarms remind us of important events whether big or small. Radio alarms wake us up in the morning. Calendar reminders are set for specific dates for ourselves or even groups of people. Some of these tools are just to remind us when to take medicine, when transportation is expected to arrive, or even how long something will take to cook. In the business world, these tools can sometimes play a huge role in the characteristic of the company and even its reputation.
One of the most useful and beneficial time-management tools in most business industries is the project management system. These come in many brands, both digital and traditional paper versions, and are primarily used to manage, track, and show the value of time used within the company. Through these systems, tasks are created and then tracked, all in one program to give workers and supervisors a constant monitor on how time is being used in the business. After frequent practice with these systems, users are soon able to tell how long projects will take to complete and how to break the assignment up into tasks that several employees can work on to complete the project quicker. The tracking done in these systems is where the value of time comes into play. When you are working on a project, whether the whole assignment is your responsibility or you are working on tasks that contribute to the entire project, the amount of time expected of you to complete the task is a value of time. The amount of time for the entire project to be complete is another value of time. If speedy completion is satisfactory for the creator of the project then finishing the task faster increases the value of the time, while finishing late decreases the value. Anything or anyone that takes the time away from you that you have allotted to the project is not valuing your time, and if you allow this to continue you aren’t valuing your own time. While everyone is allotted the same amount of time to use on a daily basis, the ways we choose to use them and the value we get out of that time is up to each individual.
Take Control of Time
Time is a precious asset. While we are given it every day, it is still a rare commodity. The value of the time we are given is defined by what we do with it. For those at home or in a business, the use of a project management system is a great tool for taking control of the time you have available for tasks and goals. Using a project management system not only helps supervisors and owners monitor the effectiveness of their workforce, it also allows them to make future plans and expansion in the business by knowing what they can produce in their daily allotted amounts of time. A business running without a project management system is like riding a horse without reins. Sure, it will continue to move forward, but probably not in the direction you desire. For some, there is no better way to value your time then to outsource specific tasks to third-party companies or even usie a white label agency to share your workloads, especially if you are selling services, such as SEO or PPC. For those in business and even those at home who don’t recognize the value of time, or their responsibility to control it, they quickly find themselves….out of it.
Written by: Kevin Phillips