2011 is drawing to a close soon and as I look back I have been able to say that it was a relatively successful year. I have managed to meet all of my business targets and I have enjoyed every moment of the year. I am often asked about my time management techniques and I thought it would be great to start sharing these with people from this blog. So as this is mainly a social media and social business blog you may see a few productivity article thrown in for fun. It is seriously one of my favourite topics.

Get up early

About 10 years, my grandmother gave me a great piece of advice as I was telling her how I am a night person and how I do most of my work at night. Her advice was “successful people wake up early.” This contradicted everything I had known till that point. I am a night person and not a morning person. My brain does not function in the morning.

Well after a few years I decided to give it a try. I started going to bed earlier and getting up early to get my work done. Something changed. I found that I worked quicker in the morning and with more focus. The only way I can explain this is that at night you deadline is “tomorrow morning” which is hours away and so a slower work pace is usually adopted. Frequent coffee trips to stay awake and the occasional break at 2am.

After a decent rest, everyone is able to get up early to work. So the getting to bed early was key to this succeeding. I found that because the deadlines were closer I worked with a clearer purpose and was not distracted by the internet and other shiny things. I found that I needed less time to get my work done and this in turn meant that I got more rest, and rest always means you work with a clearer mind and make better decisions.

Hire the best people you can and treat them as well as you can

Great people always make your life easier. They work better, produce great work and alleviate stress in your life. Treat them as well as you possibly can and they will stay with you longer.

“Un-great” people cost you money, create stress by not doing the work properly and don’t contribute to a better service or product at the end of the day.

On a side note, great people don’t always get everything right but they usually respond to correction well. You will do them a service by correcting them and helping them do the job better. It will help both of you work better together.

When hiring people don’t look at what they cost you. Rather look at the value they bring to the team, then pay them what they are worth. Remember they are people, not assets and not expenses!

Don’t do everything

If you are hiring great people you will start to find that certain aspects of the work you do is actually better left to people who work with you. Delegate your work to those who do it better than you. Then spend time focusing on what you are good at. The more you and the people in your team focus on what you’re good at the better the final result in your business gets.

Remember that this is not an invitation to delegate your responsibility. Rather it is a suggestion do better quality work more of the time.