Business Strategy: Managing Your Time is the Key to Managing Stress
This is a hectic time of the year; social activities including business functions and family obligations can add pressure to achieving your bottom line. This is true for business owners as well as their staff. When you begin to feel overwhelmed with deadlines and pressures, you become less effective. The facts are: there are always going to be things that come up that you will need to deal with- regardless of the season, and you will always have 24 hours in a day to deal with these pressures. Here are three key strategies to help you manage your time so that you can manage your stress successfully.
1) Catch and Release: If you find emotions in the workplace are exhausting your efforts, you need to employ the Catch and Release Strategy. Many pressures in the business world are emotionally based. Fear, anger, resentment and envy can keep us from focusing on the bigger picture. In all situations- including the difficult ones, there is a lesson to be learnt. Separate the facts and discard the emotion. Take what is valuable from the moment and employ it so that you can maintain your focus…the rest simply doesn’t warrant your time and effort. Practice good listening and communication skills so that you can isolate the facts. Catch that which aides you in achieving your goals and Release the rest.
2) The 20 minute rule: This is a key strategy for creating momentum and increasing productivity particularly if you have a tendency to procrastinate, or feel immobilized with too many tasks at once. We all have tasks that are sitting around the periphery of our “To Do” List, and although we know they need to get done, they never make it on the list. This rule simply requires you to dedicate 20 minutes to a task. Even if the task takes longer to complete, you can focus the time to organize yourself so that you can be efficient when you return to it. You may even find that the task can actually be completed in the allotted 20 minutes. This is a call-to-action strategy that will get you moving again.
3) 911 vs. 411: This is great strategy for anyone who responds constantly to interruptions. Without the ability to evaluate a situation critically you can mismanage your time and misread a situation. As information comes to you, categorize it as: a 911 (critical, life or death, must know now) status or a 411(helpful information that is nice to know and will be processed in due time). Incorporating effective delegating skills with this strategy imposes the questions: “Is this a 911 that I need to handle” or a “911 that someone else needs to handle.” Alternatively, is this “411 info that I need for later” or “411 info that someone else needs for later?”
24 hours is all anyone has in a day. How are you using your time to be successful?