How often are you checking emails, responding to texts, allowing walk-in interruptions in your office, checking social media, etc? These are the most annoying and time wasting elements of an entrepenuer or small business owner. Wearing multiple hats and dealing with mis-timed interruptions can ruin what you had planned for the day. The key is refocusing and finding the right pattern of productivity in the day again once the interruption has ended.
Luckily, technology and apps today can provide some simple solutions to help you with organizing your day and avoiding those "time-sucks" of the day to get your focus back. We found a list of x ideas you can take with you. See how many you can implement today! They're all free!
1. Controlling the distractions on your desktop
The hardest thing to do sometimes, is just getting that one thing done you promised yourself you were going to finish. The personal reference write up, that blog you were going to write 3 weeks ago, or the invocies that need your approval!
"Self Control is a Mac application that allows users to temporarily block internet access to a list of specified websites for a customizable length of time. (Don't worry PC people, you can do the same thing with an app called Freedom.)
Simply add your favorite time-sucking websites to "the blacklist" and they'll remain out of reach for as long as you need.
You'll be amazed by how much time you win back."
2. Work Within a Defined Timeframe
Ever find yourself stuck on a task that is never ending?
According to Lifehacker, the Pomodoro Technique can be best broken down into the following five steps:
"This approach -- named after the famous tomato-shaped timer it employs -- is designed to help you leverage bursts of focus by removing distractions and holding yourself to a time limit.
Don't have a tomato timer? Check out Focus Booster. This digital play on the technique is great for digital marketers who want to leverage the approach and keep track of their progress online."
3. Delegate What's On Your Plate
Delegating a team to get things done and staying on top of their progress can be more wasted time that you could have used in doing the project yourself. Aren't there days that feel like that?
This flexible, interactive project management app provides users with an organized way to keep track of their tasks, while making it easy to collaborate, communicate, and assign projects to different members. You can think of it as "a whiteboard with super powers."
4. Get rid of the notebook!
Ever run out of paper or get lost lookig for that one note you took at a clients office? Check out Evernote. Once you install this app on your phone and your desktop, you will wonder how you ever stayed productive at all!
The best way to use Evernote, though, is to take advantage of everything else it has to offer. The more notebooks you add, the more valuable the app becomes. Try taking snapshots of everything in your office and on your shelves, then insert it all into a notebook and relieve the stress of sorting through papers. All you have to do is tag the notes you’re taking for easy search access at a later date. It’s a game changer when you're scrambling for those notes you quickly jotted down during your weekly meetings.
Also, check out their business card reader. Ever wonder what to do with the stack of business cards on your desk? Check it out here!
5. An app that understands networking
More than just collecting those important business cards is the information behind it. Gettign back to the office, you might have total memory fail and forget why you even have this persons card. This is a huge time waster!
Entrepreneurs are constantly networking and conducting meetings, but it can be almost impossible to keep track of how and where you met someone. Humin handles all of that for you. When you insert information into the app, it remembers all of the tiny details of how and where you met someone, allowing you to actually be in the moment instead of trying to remember information later. Humin solves this problem by combining your contacts, dialing and voice mailbox to calculate who your most important contacts are.
6. What to do when someone calls you and how to delegate the call
Phone calls during meetings, business coferences, and consulting is the hardest thing to control. LISTEN is an app that can be a solution for you. With this app, you can select pre-programmed voice messages to play to your callers when you’re busy in a meeting, driving or at the movies and can’t take a call. Status also includes many automated features, including Auto SMS Reply capabilities, Calendar Syncing and Location detection which when enabled, will allow you to automatically reply to calls and text messages with a status message based on your geographic location. You can also create a custom status message with our voice recorder for added personalization!
You can also add special ringtone music for specific callers. Want to play Happy Birthday for your significant other when they call in that day? Maybe it's the holidays and you want the christmas jingles to play for the entire month of december for your customers. You can do all of that as well with this app!
7. Get it done all with the press of a button!
I love this app! Do you have recurring activities you do everyday that you wish you could automate - with the push of a button. You should try Workflows. This handy little app that lives in your phone utilizes all the apps you have and connects them together for the action you want to perform. For instance, send e-mails, schedule calendar events, play a playlist, add reminders, generate QR codes, save information to Dropbox, record audio, find stores nearby, track expenses!
Improving time management for leaders and business owners is an increasingly important task. We hope you enjoyed some of our recommendations! Feel free to leave us a comment on how well some of these worked for you.
LUXA Enterprises specializes in hr outsourcing and hr solutions. We have a passion for employee relations and want to help small and mid-size companies increase productivity at work with time management for leaders. Find out why people choose to work with us!