Time is probably one of the most valuable resources of any business, and something we cannot get back. Making sure you spend your time right is a pillar stone in any successful business. This paper discusses this hidden resource and its role in today’s society, and how you could start to explore it in order to become even more successful.
We live in a society where life moves at a much faster pace than ever before. People are constantly on the go and need to be able to cope with many things simultaneously. With the advancements in technology we are always reachable, can access every kind of information wherever we are, and regardless the time of day. Being without these technologies would be unimaginable for most of us.
Unfortunately, there is a flip-side to these advances; most of the today’s people – whether on the bus, train or just walking – will be active speaking, reading or typing on their smart phone or laptop. There are no longer any pauses or relax time.
“Time is what we want most, but what we use worst”
According to British psychologist, Professor Richard Wiseman (Pace of Life International Study), the overall pace of life has increased by 10% worldwide since the mid-90’s. In some places, it has even increased by 20%. We are doing more in the same timeframe than previous generations and the same applies in business. With the pace at which society progresses, companies have to do whatever it takes to stay relevant. If we are not fast enough, the competition will be. Businesses are forced to make continuous development, otherwise they cannot keep up with the demands of our fast-paced society. This is the world we are living in now and we need to have continual improvement.
Time is our most valuable resource
What is time?
- “Time is what we want most, but what we use worst.”
- “Time is something we cannot get back.”
In business, time is our most important and finite resource, yet we rarely take time to think about how we are spending it. When we work we have a certain amount of time each day that we should produce for the business, that constraint is a hard-cold fact. However, how we use our time makes us highly successful or totally stressed out. That is why we need to figure out ways to make the most of the time we have since it is limited.
“Time is finite — how we work is not”
So few of us rarely use our time wisely despite the fact that it is something we value so much. Often, we do not even know where our time goes. We work hard all day, yet still have a sense of underachieving, feeling we have not made the most out of the time we had available. We also find ourselves carrying out the same tasks repeatedly, often following routines without questioning why we are doing it. Why? There is simply no time to reflect on what we are doing, and many of us feel it is easier to just continue as we are, rather than challenge ourselves on why we are doing it.
For any organisation, making the most out of its time constraint is one of the most vital ingredients to developing a healthy and efficient business. Companies that achieve this quite often are the most successful. The same applies for us as individuals. People, by nature, want to feel valued and feeling value at work creates positivity that helps the fast-paced society of the business.
Take time to make time
Together with time, employees are the most important resource in any company regardless the nature of its business. It makes sense that if we can make the most out of our time the business will naturally benefit.
I often hear my colleagues say that they have no time to develop the business or improve on what they are doing. They are continually too busy to reflect and make changes to help improve what they are doing. More hours in the day is one thing we all want, and yet it is impossible to attain. Remember, time is finite – how we work is not.
But what if we could free up significant time, perhaps as much as 25% of our workday to focus on the tasks that really matter?
It is the famous “catch 22”; in order to make ourselves more time we first need to take time. We need to actively set aside time in our busy schedule to think and reflect on what we are doing, how we are spending our time, and if we can do things more efficiently.
Are we doing the right things with our time?
Gaining transparency into how we spend our time is the first step in understanding where our time goes. It will help us assess what tasks are of importance in our daily routine and add value to the business.
We need to begin by looking at all our daily activities with the goal on deciding which ones are not that important to either ourselves or our company, and that are relatively easy to drop, delegate or outsource. We need to take time to analyse what we are doing with our precious time:
First, start off by collecting data on how your time is being spent. An excellent time management tool is easy to use yet will give you deep insights and reports about your work and results. This will give you the real picture on where your time goes rather than what you imagine.
Second, identify the time thieves in your daily work and take decisions regarding what is important and what is not. Question your routine tasks and assess if they are still relevant. Quite often we inherit tasks and routines that have been established in the business some time earlier that are no longer of value.
Third, make sure you spend your time doing the right things.
1. START OFF BY COLLECTING DATA – WHERE DO YOU SPEND YOUR TIME?
2. IDENTIFY THE TIME THIEVES IN YOUR DAILY WORK
3. SPEND YOUR TIME RIGHT
Spend Your Time Right!
Make the most out of your time and ensure that you are contributing the most value to the business. Find ways to perform optimally and use your time better in today’s fast paced society. Make sure that you develop and improve you and your staff by continually analysing where your time goes.
Ideally, we want to find the right balance where we are achieving more value in the time we have available and at the same time feel good. Our time counts and can be counted so let’s start challenging ourselves to make the best use of it every day. Let’s start right away and take time to make time and treat every moment as an opportunity to better yourself. Take that step towards achieving your goal, to spend your time right!