It is often thought that the organization is part of the innate qualities and that an entrepreneur, if he does not have it, has a good chance to waste precious time, which will affect the development of his business. However, the organization is a working method which enables the entrepreneur’s ideas, innovations, qualities to use all his resources sensibly.
“The purpose of an organization is to enable ordinary people to do extraordinary things”.
The optimal use of time for an entrepreneur is one of the factors of his success. Not wasting time and using your time in such a way that you only create added value for your company is an integral part of your daily challenges. Time is relative according to Einstein. Truth of the Palisse, as everyone experiences it, the same working day can seem long as it can slip by in the blink of an eye. The secret to making the most of your time: organize it well. Soft focus is an entrepreneur’s worst enemy.
How to plan?
Modern man seems to be constantly chasing time… What if this modern man just hadn’t learned to plan his day well?
The last time you made a work plan, was it when you were studying for your matriculation exam? Don’t panic, by following the following three principles you should be able to plan your tasks intelligently and achieve efficiency.
Make specific to-do lists.
List the small tasks and big missions that need to be completed during the year, month, week and finally on each day. For example, you could use the last hour on Friday night to work out your schedule for the coming week and update it as you go. Remember to include absolutely all tasks, even those that we are not used to writing in a diary, such as research or competitive intelligence. Make sure to vary your activities throughout the day so that you alternate tasks that require a lot of thought with easier activities. Take into account the criteria of chronobiology to think about your schedule: no intense reflection tasks on Friday evening for example!
Focus on the essentials.
Before you tackle the actual realization of your schedule, think carefully: Which tasks are essential for the development of your business? What actions can enable you to increase your turnover and contribute to the well-being of your employees? These tasks should represent the heart of your schedule. The rest will be done at times with less attention, or will be outright delegated.
During an interview with Dynamique, founder of OpenClassRooms, Mathieu Nebra shared his experience :
“The real reason is to work with what has the greatest added value. As an entrepreneur, we have many things to do, and it is essential to focus on what has the most value to avoid wasting time in the end. Personally, I use my iPhone and my Mac a lot to organize myself. As a general rule, on Sunday evenings I review all the tasks I have to do during the week. There are about a hundred pages. I sort them by their priority and during my week I only keep 10-20 pages. During the day I look at the 2/3 pages that are meant for this day and I am only focused on these. It saves me from drowning and feeling a sense of panic. I add other tasks if I’m out early and I avoid being interrupted.
Having a to-do list helps me avoid wondering if I’ve forgotten something. Once or twice a day I go back into reflective mode and I sort. As soon as I have an idea, I write it down using software that automatically and intelligently transcribes it. It was a bit expensive to get, but I’m very happy because it saves me time. »
No more procrastination!
Determine what is urgent and what is important.
This is the method President Eisenhower used to set his agenda. Every morning, prioritize your tasks for the day by making a table with 4 boxes: urgent and important tasks to be done as a priority, those that are urgent but not very important that need to be delegated, those that are important but not urgent, postponed a little later, and finally non-urgent and non-important tasks that often need to be removed.
“I’ll do it tomorrow, now I’m a bit lazy…” This innocent little phrase is a real planning serial killer! Doing right away what could be put off until tomorrow is a foolproof technique for saving time today…and especially tomorrow!
When you’re tempted to put off a task until tomorrow, take a few seconds to ask yourself why you don’t want to do it right away. Don’t have all the elements yet to complete this task? Do you have other emergencies to deal with? Or are you just afraid to solve this task? If the correct answer is the latter, remember: this famous task will scare you just as much tomorrow! So to counter procrastination, it’s ideal to break down the big mission that scares or discourages you into many micro-tasks that are simple to do and therefore more manageable.
1. Start with the easiest tasks to perform.
This will allow you to have the feeling of having already made good progress before tackling the most difficult activities. These mini-achievements will encourage you to continue and complete the mission.
2. Do the hardest thing first.
Sometimes it’s better to force yourself a little to do the jobs that seem most daunting first, to free yourself from the stress they bring. Once these arduous tasks are done, the mind will be freer to quickly complete all the small actions that need to be done. A tip: To encourage yourself to do a task that you prefer to put off until the next day, sometimes you need to motivate yourself by promising yourself a pleasant counterpart when this action is completed.
Improve your decision making speed
Being efficient in your work also means that you have to learn not to procrastinate for 3 hours before making the smallest decision.
Efficiency rhymes with responsiveness!
To stop wasting time in your working days, you need to become more responsive to the many decisions that need to be made. There are a few useful strategies to improve decision-making speed:
Make your decision alone
Faced with a problem, there are often as many opinions as there are people. Asking all his collaborators what they think about the problem will be totally counterproductive: in addition to wasting time doing his little survey, the manager will ultimately have to face the added difficulty of being forced to sort through the 10 different opinions.
Learn to analyze data quickly
Although the manager must also rely on his intuition, which is often very accurate, when faced with a decision to be made, he must still carefully analyze all the data regarding the problem. To do this, he must have created a system for quick access to information upstream, by classifying his various files. He must also have clearly identified the sources capable of providing him with the tangible elements to make his decision.
Seek advice from one person
If the manager is unable to make a decision alone, because he e.g. is not an expert in the matter, he must limit himself to a single contact for advice. Work must also be done upstream to identify the right people who are able to advise him if necessary on such and such a subject.