Time is money. More importantly, it’s an indicator of the success of your business.

What defines a successful business?

A business that regularly meets their goals.

How fast can business goals get accomplished? As fast as the small tasks that cumulate to the large goal can get completed.

The future of your business lies in the daily time management that moves the needle. It’s this daily momentum that checks off your KPI’s and let’s you say, “Damn, we really pulled that off” at the end of the year.

Time management starts with individual employees and encompasses your entire team. Each employee needs their time management skills to be in full force to create a community of team members who are all milking the clock for every ounce of productivity.

This is the dream team.

These are the five crucial time management skills that grow your business.

Know Your Time Frame: Evaluate The Duration Of Goals

How many times has Gary Vaynerchuk mentioned “reverse engineering your career”? The marketing master has become synonymous with the term, coining it to describe how Millennials can actually make their dreams come true.

Here’s how it works:

First, define what you want to achieve.
Second, define the actionable, daily steps that reach that achievement.

Gary integrated this strategy from age old business wisdom. Wanting to make $1,000,000 next year doesn’t happen unless the steps of making $100, $500, $1,000, $2,000, etc. are outlined.

Yet, an important aspect of this strategy is in understanding how long each task is going to take.

Does the task that brings you from $100 in profit to $500 in profit take one week? One month? Three months?

Identifying that timeline is what grows businesses. Apple uses this strategy in Apple’s New Product Process, the system that turns ideas into products. They’ll break down the large task of creating a new iOS Software into small tasks and define how long each task takes.

If you’re having trouble defining how long a task will take to complete, then the task is too vague or too large, and needs to be broken down further.

For example, let’s say the goal is to drive traffic to your website through blog articles promoted on Facebook. Asking what the duration of this task is going to take doesn’t leave you with a viable answer. Instead, crunch the numbers to get an exact amount of time as to how long the task will take.

In this case, first ask: How much traffic does each post on Facebook currently drive back to our website? Let’s say the answer is 1,000 users.

If our goal is to have 10,000 website users per month, and we get 1,000 website users from each post, we need 10 articles to reach the goal.

Now we can ask, how long does it take to write ten articles?

Specifically, how long does it take your in-house content writer to curate ten articles? Let’s say your in-house content writer says it’s going to take one week to complete the articles.

So, the task of writing the articles will take one week and scheduling the correlating post on Facebook will take one day.

The task of driving traffic to your website is going to take eight days to complete on the back-end. On the front-end, you determine how fast you want that traffic to come to your website. For example, you could post two articles in a week and get 10,000 website users in five weeks. Or, you could post three times a week and receive 10,000 website users in 3.5 weeks.

A crucial lesson in time management comes from Apple’s strategy for managing their product process. For example, if a task within the iOS Software Update takes one week, they will let their developers work on this for one week before involving management.

This is a crucial lesson in time management. Does it seem like, “micromanaging time management” has too much “management” in it? That’s because it does.

Micromanaging your team to complete tasks doesn’t scale. Scaling comes from your team knowing what they need to get done and the deadline that it needs to be done by. Businesses that grow have leaders that allow their team to get their work done, without having to answer a slew of messages from their boss during their focus time.

Here is a detailed look into Apple’s New Product Process from the entrepreneur who helped Apple create it.

At Brief, we created Hubs that support this time management strategy. Hubs are group chats for specific team members. These Hubs let you see the tasks that your team member has accomplished so you can see that a project is on schedule.

In the above example, you’d be able see when your content writer completed Article One, Article Two, Article Three, and so on. It also allows you to communicate with her directly about the project without interfering with other team member’s deep work.

Prioritization: Schedule Your Day/Week/Month

The first step of time management is knowing what tasks need to be completed to move the needle. The second step is knowing when to complete them.

As a CEO, Founder or President, a “regular” day seems impossible. Each day has its own set of hours and finding a template that abides by those hours isn’t realistic.

We get it, and that’s why we aren’t going to unrealistically tell you that you can plan everyday out to the tiny details.

We are going to show you how to create a loose schedule that helps your day, week and month be more productive by capitalizing on as much time as possible.

For example, what comes first every morning, emails or meditation?

For each CEO, Founder or President, this answer varies. There isn’t a right or wrong answer, there is just your answer.

For some high management leaders, like Tim Cook, blasting emails at 6am helps them get focused for the rest of the day. For others, meditating for fifteen minutes gives them the clarity they need to continue their day.

What does it for you?

The same goes for the rest of your day, week and month. There are two questions to ask yourself when creating an idealistic schedule.

  1. When are you the most productive?
  2. How do you place the most important tasks during that time frame?

Let’s say that mornings are your most productive time blocks. For whatever reason, your best time for deep work happens from 8am-12pm.

What tasks should go in those time blocks?

The tasks that move the needle.

For example, as a team leader, you know that you need to look over the articles that your content writer wrote in regards to your website traffic strategy. This way the articles can be scheduled to Facebook and start to drive traffic back to your website. This task can be scheduled for eight days from the start date, when you know that all of the articles will be completed and ready for you to look over. This becomes a priority task on your list of six things to do that day.

Knowing the cumulated tasks of your long term goals means that you can schedule out your day, week and month with the task you’ll need to complete to help your team continue to move forward. The same can be applied to your employees.

When your content writer knows their current project is writing ten articles in seven days, she can create her Ivy Lee Method prioritized list with what she needs to accomplish to make sure the articles are completed on the deadline.

In the Brief App, each user is able to create private task lists and public tasks lists that are seen by every member in the Hub. These task lists are designed to maximize efficiency by showing you everything that needs to get done today, in the same place as your team communication channel and file storage. Our app is designed to help you maximize your time management by being as minimalist as possible.

Now that your team is working efficiently as individuals, let’s get them to work productively together with these group time management skills.

Don’t Waste Time: Structure Meetings and Conference Calls

Structure is the keyword when it comes to meetings and conference calls. This is a similar strategy to the first one we talked about, but instead of task planning you are communication planning.

What does it mean to plan communication?

It means that you don’t run with where your mind takes you, you have a clear path that you intend to follow. This path is the blueprint of your meetings and conference calls that ensure your team gets updated on the necessities and everybody walks away aware of what action they need to take.

This blueprint starts with the reason for the meeting.e

Are you meeting to update the team on KPI’s? Is the meeting to set new KPI’s? Is the meeting to brainstorm new marketing strategies?

Defining why you’re having a meeting is the first step. The second step is to figure out how each of those meetings runs the most efficiently.

For example, if your meeting is an update conference call, the most efficient way to run the meeting is to:

  1. Send employees an outline of what will be discussed and the metrics/resources that need to be readily available for reference
  2. Review metrics/resources with the team
  3. Create actionable steps for each team member to walk away with

Without the last step, your meeting may have run efficiently, but it doesn’t end efficiently. Each team member should be able to walk away from the meeting with a specific action plan of how they are going to take what was discussed and implement it into their position.

Brief integrates Zoom Chat to allow you to video chat with up to four team members at a time. Brief is created to be your team communication channel with the purpose of being able to send the meeting outline to your team within the same platform that you have your video meeting. Our task list (personal and public) then allows for yourself and your team members to create the tasks they need to accomplish to grow your business.

Identify Employee Time Zones: How To Efficiently Collaborate With A Remote Team

This section of time management skills is focused on businesses with remote teams. Running a remote team has its perks, and its downfalls. When team members are dispersed across the world you find talent that isn’t available in your city. But, when team members are working in different time zones, projects can start to lag.

Efficiently collaborating with a remote team means that your time management isn’t only based around your time zone, but theirs as well.

The key to running a remote team is figuring out the most convenient times for individual and team meetings.

For example, if a team member is in Los Angeles, another is in New York and the other in Berlin, you want to know what times during the week align where all team members are working at the same time.

Let’s say your team lead is in Los Angeles and the team generally works from 9am-5pm their time.

This means that for the person in Los Angeles, their 9am-5pm is equivalent to the New York member’s 12pm-8pm, and the Berlin member’s 4pm-12am.

This means that the most convenient time for your Berlin employee to have a team meeting or individual call is at 9am Los Angeles time, as an hour long call would correlate to their 4pm-5pm.

The most convenient time for you (LA) to talk with your New York City employee is between 9am-2pm, because this correlates to their 12pm-5pm.

Outlining these times and keeping them in your team Hub maximizes your efficiency when it comes time to communicate with your team members. Brief has a note section where this information can be kept. For example, your note section would look like:

Aaron (Los Angeles) and Kristin (Berlin): 4pm PT
Aaron (Los Angeles) Anna (New York): 9am-2pm PT
Anna (New York) and Kristin (Berlin): 9am-12pm ET

Preparation is an integral part of leaders who practice time management skills.

Create a Communication Hub: All Communication In a Single Platform

The last time management skill for leaders, CEO’s, Presidents and business owners to practice is to stop moving from tool to tool. In the digital age of automation and systems, which we are incredibly grateful for, the amount of platforms our employees are using is always increasing.

Where are your digital headquarters?

Defining a Digital HQ maximizes time efficiency by avoiding miscommunication. If some team members are communicating on Skype, others on Upwork and management on Slack, ideas, resources and information are scattered. This method lacks efficiency.

Brief is a minimalistic app that is the digital headquarters of businesses around the world. It’s a solution to loud productivity platforms specifically designed to be quiet and efficient. We don’t want your employees sending GIF’s to each other all day long. We want them to be checking off their to do list and working seamlessly together.

One of the most liked parts of the Brief App are the Hubs. Hubs are like group chats that you can create between different team members/departments. Within each Hub tasks can be created and delegated, files are automatically stored, video chat is available and communication is simplified.

Having a digital headquarters where your employees convene, regardless of where they are in the world may be the most important time management skill a leader can implement.

Your team is called a team for a reason, let them act as one.

Time management moves the needle. Businesses focused on efficiency and productivity are the ones that creep towards their goals. Businesses that teach their employees efficiency and productivity are the ones that scale long term.

Learn more about the Brief App here.

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