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Why time management is a waste of time

Written by Suzy Sanders on Thursday, 11 March 2021. Posted in People

How often recently have you said (or thought) ‘I just don’t have the time’?

Why time management is a waste of time

How often recently have you said (or thought) ‘I just don’t have the time’?

Time is by far our most precious resource. We can’t buy or borrow it, it’s impossible to make more and it’s well known that good time management is crucial to both personal productivity and success in business. 

In recent months, the juggle has certainly been real, with so many franchisees carefully balancing their business commitments and client obligations alongside personal and family responsibilities in such a hugely pressured way.  Most of us have never experienced the intensity of pressure bought on by the global pandemic before and, hopefully, we won’t encounter challenges like it again.

So why is time management a waste of time?

Because we all have the exact same number of hours in our days. It’s very much what we do with that time that counts. Which is why we should spend less time worrying about managing our time and more focus on managing our tasks.

By focusing on workflow instead of time, franchisees are not setting themselves up for a fall. Having the right tools and strategies to manage our priorities is a much healthier and more sustainable way to run a business. Take this from someone who’s hit burn out on more than one occasion!

A top task management tool.

A really useful tool is Covey’s Prioritisation Matrix*. Stephen Covey was an American educator, author, businessman, and keynote speaker. His most popular book is ‘The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People’ where he modernised and bought into the mainstream psyche the Eisenhower Method**. 

Covey’s Matrix presents you with four quadrants in which you can prioritise your business or personal activities in relation to their importance and urgency. This matrix is a simple yet incredibly effective way to help you decide what work you should retain, schedule, delegate or drop. 

Here’s an overview and some example tasks for each of Covey’s quadrants:

Quadrant One is important AND urgent – retain (and do them!) 

These activities need your immediate attention. There are clear timescales and obvious consequences. ‘Important’ tasks to move you forward towards your defined business objectives. They could be project activities with pre-defined and fixed timescales or perhaps pressing client challenges or responding to certain emails.

Quadrant Two is for important tasks that aren’t urgent – schedule 

These are more strategic development activities which are important to your business goals, but they don’t need your attention or any action right now. It’s wise to schedule these duties into your diary or workflow management system as procrastination could be prevalent in this quadrant. These tasks could be related to personal development, preparation, strategic planning or simply thinking space.

Quadrant Three is urgent yet not important – delegate.

These day-to-day tasks do need taking care of but not always by you. Are your urgent yet not important tasks tied to you and your skill set specifically? They could be replying to repetitive emails, uploading blogs/content, bookkeeping or even preparing meals or cleaning. 

Quadrant FOUR is neither urgent nor important – drop them!

These are the distractions, the activities that suck your time and probably make you feel worse in the long run. For many this is more than likely endless, mindless scrolling on social media.

We all know the beauty of a franchise is having a flexible and quickly scalable business model, but to make it a true success, we should be thinking less about time management and more about balancing our priorities.

Check it out Covey’s Prioritisation Matrix and see how it works for you. 

* Covey’s matrix - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_Covey

** The Eisenhower Method - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time_management 

About the Author

Suzy Sanders

Suzy Sanders

Suzy Sanders is the founder & franchisor at Alchemy Virtual Assistance (VA), the UK’s only family run VA franchise - providing award-winning remote administration services, practical marketing and PA support to franchisees, franchisors and other entrepreneurs, and business owners across the UK.

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