How to Improve Time Management | Critical vs Urgent

As entrepreneurs, learning how to improve time management is a critical skill for success. Entrepreneurs typically find themselves wearing many different hats, and with so many items screaming for your attention each day it can be difficult to decide which tasks to focus on.

Critical vs Urgent

  • Reaching out to new business prospects and inviting them to take a look at your business presentation.
  • Answering a phone call from a team member who has a question about the ingredients found in your products.

Both are important, but which activity is critical, and which is urgent?

Your critical tasks are your income-producing activities that, when all is said and done, will make up 80% of your business’s success and failure.

Almost always, an entrepreneur can narrow down their list of critical activities to just a few items. For example, for network marketers who are focused on building a team our critical tasks are prospecting (finding people to talk to), presenting (talking to the people we find) and duplication (teaching those who choose to join us how to do the same).

It doesn’t matter WHAT ELSE you do each day… if you aren’t finding people to talk to about your business, inviting them to take a look at your presentation, following-up and helping them get started, you’re not making money.

All businesses have critical tasks that make up the majority of their success. Unfortunately, these revenue-producing activities often take a backseat to more “urgent” responsibilities that may seem critical at the time, but overall are not a “make or break” activity for your business.

For network marketing leaders, this is often referred to “management mode” — or letting the day-to-day tasks related to the management of your current team keep you from continuing to personally prospect and sponsor new team members.

This does not mean these urgent tasks are not important! They usually are! The key is to not let them get in the way of you completing the critical tasks that will drive your business growth.

Learning how to identify which tasks fall into which categories is the first step, but then you must learn how to improve your time management by taking care of the critical tasks and giving them priority.

The best tip I’ve found for how to improve time management and prioritize critical tasks is to work in time blocks.

Time blocks allow you to FOCUS on the activities that matter most to your business, removing distractions and often exploding your productivity by as much as 300%.

I recommend setting aside 1-3 hour blocks of time each day, during which you give 100% of your focus to the critical activities you need to accomplish in order for your business to grow. That means no email… no accepting phone calls… no social media… no web browsing. 1-3 hours of uninterrupted focused activity!

If you’re reading advice like this for the first time you may be panicking. “How in the world am I supposed to go 3 hours without answering a phone call or checking email??”

The answer is simple: You just do it! 

Too many people feel they don’t have time to work in time blocks, when reality they need to work in time blocks because they DON’T have a lot of time!

Now I’m not saying emails, phone calls or even social media are not important! Social Media plays a major role in my workday — it’s how we communicate with our team members, prospects and clients. There is a time and place for it, but not in the middle of a critical task time block.

I recommend scheduling (2-3) 30-minute or hour long sessions each day for your non-critical tasks. This time can be spent returning phone calls, answer emails and responding to questions on social media. It can be spent taking care of those tasks that, while important to your business, are not the critical, revenue-generating tasks that make up 80% of your success.

Likely, you’ll find completing these tasks takes MUCH less time than anticipated. When we block out a couple of half-hour time slots each day instead of answering phone calls, checking email and leaving those social media windows open all-day-every-day we are actually able to give more focused attention to these tasks, provide better communication and increase efficiency at the same time!

And no, I’m not saying you shouldn’t answer a phone call from a team member when your phone rings. UNLESS the phone call comes during your scheduled critical activity time block! Consider that time block your most critical and important appointment of the day. Take a moment to make note of their call, then immediately get back to work on your critical tasks and return the call when your time block is done.

Within a few days of implementing the time block strategy into your daily schedule you’ll begin to notice an increase in your productivity and a decrease in “busyness”. Both critical AND non-critical tasks will get done, often in less time!

If you found this strategy to be helpful please like, comment and share it!

Edit IMG_6245Jordan Maylea Ramirez




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