No matter what type of business you run, one thing is for sure: you have plenty of tasks. Chances are you wear many hats and are responsible for a wide range of tasks that help your company operate smoothly. In fact, you’re the business owner, so you are ultimately responsible for everything!
Running a company can get overwhelming. But if you learn to manage your tasks effectively, then it can do wonders for helping your business grow the healthy way. What’s more, implementing task management skills outside of business can help you free up time to live a more fulfilled personal life. Stop stressing, and start improving your day-to-day at work and at home. Below, Huge Thinking discusses some of the most essential task management skills that you can start learning today!
One of the most common mistakes made by business owners is failing to delegate tasks to other workers. Whether you are nervous about passing off responsibility to someone else, you think you can do the task better, or you’re afraid that delegating will consume more time than just getting the work done, it might be time to change your mindset. Sure, any of these factors can prove true. But if you delegate the right way, you will quickly realize how much time it saves you — time that can be used on focusing on your overall vision and more essential responsibilities as the business owner.
With each task that you want to delegate, choose the right manager or employee to handle it. If there is no in-house team member that you think can handle the task, consider hiring professionals from external organizations or, better yet, freelancers. When hiring a freelancer, you will either be paying for work by the project or on an hourly basis. In other words, you don’t have to take on the responsibilities that come with full-time employees. And freelancers tend to be experts in their fields, which means that you get the highest quality service for your investment.
Whoever you are delegating to, make sure you provide clear and accurate instructions, as well as the necessary resources and training for the project or job. Also, make sure each person has authority for the job; giving individuals ownership in their jobs and projects will motivate them to perform at their best. Once the task is complete, be sure to look over the work and provide constructive feedback, if necessary.
Moreover, if you haven’t chosen a business structure for your company, or if you think it’s time to change your structure, that is another job that can be outsourced. For instance, if you wish to form an LLC, you can work with a formation service that can ensure your entity complies with state regulations. Companies like ZenBusiness can guide you through each step of the process while saving you time and money.
Building your delegating skills can benefit other aspects of your life as well. Maybe you have a plumbing problem at home that you would normally try to fix yourself; instead of spending your weekend trying to resolve a complex issue in which you have no expertise, calling a plumber could relieve stress and ultimately save you money. In fact, anything that needs to be done around the house can be outsourced, from electrical rewiring to landscaping to decluttering!
Organizing Tasks By Priority
Perhaps the most fundamental skill to learn for task management is to prioritize your tasks. Sit down and write out all of your responsibilities for the next day, week, and month. Then, categorize each task by urgency and importance. For example, you may have some jobs that need to be done immediately but really do not impact your business as much as others. On the other hand, you may have some bigger projects that will dictate the direction of your company but that don’t need to be completed within the next week.
Of course, the tasks which are most urgent and most important will need to take the highest priority; tasks that are least urgent and least important should be categorized as such. Whether at work or at home, learning to organize your responsibilities by priority will go a long way in relieving stress and minimizing unexpected challenges.
Creating a Realistic Schedule
This is a super practical skill but one of the hardest to execute. Take time to create a schedule for all of the tasks you have organized. Figure out your most productive times of the day, factor in family time, personal time, and any and all other time commitments. Then, develop a strict schedule that will allow you to make the most of your time in all areas.
You’re not going to perfect schedule-making in the early stages. You may not ever perfect it. But you can get better at it, and it’s essential that you do! Since there is no way to avoid unexpected obstacles and curveballs in life or business, add a little buffer room throughout your day.
Refusing to Procrastinate
All of us are guilty of procrastination at one level or another. In short, procrastination occurs any time that you do something less important than the task you were planning to do. But don’t confuse procrastination with relaxation because they are drastically different. Procrastination will leave you feeling worse in the end because you will have used up your positive energy.
On the other hand, when you power through and get your work done, your positive energy will peak, which means that you can enjoy the time that you’ve set aside to take a break and relax.
Communication is a vital skill in all realms of business and life. Many problems and mistakes can be boiled down to unclear communication or a lack of communication altogether. Make sure you are clearly communicating with your team members at work and with other businesses with whom you are involved, paying attention to the preferred communication channels of each individual if possible. And don’t forget to constantly seek ways you can improve communication with friends and family members, as it will do wonders for improving your relationships.
Keeping Your Composure
Finally, it’s easy to get frazzled after making a mistake or experiencing a challenge. But if you respond to an issue impulsively, it can make the situation much worse and lead to more mistakes. Instead, try to slow down for a moment to gather your thoughts and take an honest assessment of the situation. Work through the task management skills you’ve learned like organizing by priority, adjusting your schedule, and communicating with others. Once you’ve calmed down, you can start getting the job done — remember not to procrastinate!
It’s also worth considering other methods of relaxing your body and mind in stressful situations. Maybe you could do a five-minute breathing exercise at your desk or go for a quick walk around the office. Perhaps you could squeeze in a fifteen-minute workout session at the gym or take a moment to meditate. If it comes down to it, determine whether the task that is bringing you stress can be delegated to someone else. Learning to keep your composure while working under pressure will help you in all aspects of life.
If you want to be the best business owner you can be, you must learn how to manage your tasks effectively. As you start to develop some of the skills mentioned above, you will quickly notice how they translate into every other area of your life. But don’t stop here—keep looking for other ways that you can reduce stress and increase efficiency throughout the day, and remain open-minded to any methods or techniques that could benefit your company or home life.
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