Prioritising & Time Management In Business

Ruth discusses with small business owner Matt, how he can better manage his time and prioritise work to increase productivity and efficiency.

Transcript for Prioritisation and Time Management in Business

Can you give us your name and where you're from Matt?

Matt Horton, my name, and I run a run a consultancy, a small business with half a dozen people working with me at the moment, offering planning services from small construction projects of 100,000 to 20, 30, 300 million sometimes. So my background is in planning, but I have trouble planning myself, understanding priorities and understanding when you have a cash-generating activity, balancing that with developing and growing and…

Ok, what you're talking about is, I've got revenue-generating things and non revenue-generating. And actually it's all to do with, and all I'm going to do is tell you exactly what I do. I know, and I've always said this, that in a day I'll get done what most people do in a week, and it's because I organise myself very, very effectively. And how I organise myself, is very simple. It starts with the most important thing to me, in business and in life to be honest, which is, my target.

    Now how I get sanity, and this is the only way I can put it, is my attention needs to go where it has the most impact, what I always, always focus on is revenue generation, but I delegate, so I'm going to  give you a very simple understanding. I don't focus on turnover, never have, okay? I focus on gross profit and net profit. So if I've got a deal that's worth a million quid but it's going to earn me 20 grand, or I've got a deal that's worth 250 grand but it's going to earn me 200 grand, that gives me a greater steer straight away of where I'm going to prioritise. And I do something very simple, and this is going to sound quite daft, but every single day I write down five things that I need to do. I sit down, I listen to all my voice messages, write them down, listen to them, look at my all texts, write them down, go through my inbox and write it down. And what I'll do is, I have different segments that say to-do, long-term, mid-term, staff, and the first thing I'll do is I'll sit there and I'll write my five things that I need to do that day. 

     Now my things are always, something that's urgent, always chasing up something, and then personal organisation. You have to organise yourself to then delegate out, and I think that's the key thing. Planning is one of the most frustrating, difficult things to do, because everything about it is out of your control. You can put a case forward, and you can have all the answers there, you get the wrong planning officer or somebody objects a point, it can knock the whole thing out. My control, and organisation is control, five things a day, and I don't go home or switch off until I've done them. You know, do five things effectively each day, and all of a sudden your money will come flying in, and then you can pull in your personal stuff, and then you can pull in and that gives you sanity. You look at your priorities and tag money to it, and it will soon make sense who you call first. Has that helped?

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