There just aren't enough hours in the day!

As many of us will find on a regular basis, the pressure of balancing a career, a family and a social life can be very difficult. British workers typically work some of the longest hours in Europe. It can be tricky to manage our time effectively and find a good work-life balance.

They say "time is money", so consider how the following 10 tips could help you manage your time and save money.

  1. Plan your day - Don’t start your day until you have prepared a time plan. Take 10-15 minutes to do this. Avoid missing deadlines or even forgetting about tasks completely.
  2. Focus on things within your control – Quite often we worry about the outcome of things which are simply beyond our control. For example, once you have done a presentation to a prospective customer, don’t stew on what decision they might take. You can’t control that so focus on the rest of your schedule.
  3. Move on – When we make mistakes or get some unfavourable feedback it is sometimes hard to take. As difficult as it is, we should always try to look at the outcome or feedback as an opportunity to improve. Make a note for next time and move on.
  4. Delegate – Good delegation saves you time, develops your people, grooms a successor, and motivates. Make sure the delegated tasks are Specific, Measurable, Agreed, Realistic and Time bound (SMART).
  5. Ask for help – It is easy to hug a problem for a long time through fear of thinking that asking someone else is a sign of weakness. This is not the case. Sometimes you may have to pay an expert for that help, but if the benefit (a tax saving or the time freed up to add vale elsewhere) outweighs the cost, why wouldn’t you?
  6. Say NO – If you are asked to take on extra responsibilities and you don’t think you have the time or skill to do so, say so. Stall them by saying you will come back to them and give yourself some thinking time.
  7. Deal with performance – Are there performance issues with your team which are wasting time? It will always come down to either a lack of understanding and appreciation of the task, lack of knowledge/skill, lack of support and tools to do the job or motivation. Think about which one(s) it is and address it at the earliest opportunity.
  8. Put something for yourself in the diary – If you want to do something for yourself, like a day at the Football or a trip to the theatre, book the tickets and put in your diary early. You are more likely to actually take that time for yourself.
  9. Don’t delay – We often keep delaying dealing with certain things. It might be due to a lack of understanding or just because we lack the motivation to do it. Quite often though, these things turn out to be less painful than you think and can save you money in the long term. For example, doing some Inheritance Tax planning now might save thousands of pounds in the future.
  10. Prepare your own budget – Worry about your own budget during working hours and worry about the work budget whilst at home? Having a properly prepared personal budget of your own can save time and money. It makes you re-think about where savings can be made and lets you know what disposable income you have to work with from month-to-month.

Richard Askew, Corporate Director

 

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