As a business owner and manager, you constantly deal with the challenge of structuring your time to complete the tasks required to run your business.
Juggling multiple projects and dozens of tasks can be both cumbersome and exhausting. If you don’t manage your time efficiently, you might soon find yourself wishing you had never left your day job.
One of the main reasons owners and managers become frustrated is because they think in terms of tasks instead of goals. Of course, you have to break down large projects into manageable chunks, but if you’re only looking at the parts of a project, it’s easy to lose sight of the big picture.
Instead of starting each day by reviewing the tasks you need to complete, spend the first 30 minutes of your day assessing how much progress you have made toward each of your goals. This helps you determine which activities you need to spend your time on to achieve each objective. You can then use this information to plan your day so you don’t spend too long working on one goal at the expense of others that are equally important.
Grouping Goals by Time Frame
As a owner or manager, you undoubtedly have many goals you want to achieve. Grouping them by time frame can help you organize your time efficiently to keep you on track. You can categorize them as long-range, mid-range, and short-range goals. Here are examples of each:
Long-range: These goals might include making enough money to erase all of your debt, retiring in the Greek Isles, or saving enough to buy your dream home without taking out a mortgage.
Mid-range: Earning $100,000 per year, cutting your credit card debt in half, and charging rates high enough to reduce your work time by 20 hours per week are all examples of mid-range goals.
Short-range: These goals are the ones most business owners and managers focus on most heavily. They might include finishing a client’s project on time, launching a new promotional website, or completing an advertising campaign to promote your services.
It is important to focus primarily on short-range goals. They can facilitate achievement of mid-range goals, which can in turn allow you to realize long-term goals. Still, it is important to keep longer-range goals in mind and track short-term activity to make sure you are moving toward what you want to achieve in the future.
Prioritizing Your Goals
Grouping also allows you to prioritize your activities. If a particular activity does not effectively move you toward your long-range goals, it should not rank highly on your list of priorities. For example, suppose you want to launch a new website for your business, but your current website brings in as many clients as you can handle. Since building a new website will not move you closer to retirement in the Greek Isles, you should not put this activity ahead of other, more productive tasks.
Similarly, you can prioritize client projects based on how well they serve your long-range goals. Suppose you have landed a client who will offer you other, more lucrative projects in the future. Although a handful of smaller clients might pressure you for rapid project completion, you should focus your attention on your long-term client first, then spend time working on other, less important projects.
Thinking in terms of goals instead of tasks keeps your business moving forward. It also gives you the power to structure your work day in a manner that allows you to most efficiently meet your long-range objectives. Before you set tasks for your day, ask yourself if each activity will move you closer to your goals.