By Jon Baker

Jon Baker of venture-Now is urging directors and senior partners to focus on self-management and discipline in the build-up to Christmas. With pressure mounting and deadlines fast approaching the key message is be strict to be successful. Jon has improved the performance of numerous businesses using proven daily and weekly management methods. He suggests four tips to increase productivity, profit and, on a human level, remain on top of the workload.

“Self-management and discipline is the key to getting more out of a day. Businesses cannot manage time but individuals can manage themselves. Regardless of company size, a focused workforce is more productive. Following four primary principals keeps things simple and easy to implement,” explained Jon.

Jon stresses the importance of prioritisation. Investing time to plan at the beginning of each day and week strategically prioritises set tasks and focuses a working week. All meetings must have clear agendas which fit your company’s objectives.

The 80/20 rule should apply to meeting plans, where 20 per cent of the time often gives 80 per cent of the benefit.

Setting pre-specified blocks of time for miscellaneous, administrative tasks limits time spent off-target. Jon suggests waiting until the next time-block to complete low-value but necessary tasks rather than eating into time-blocks allocated to profitable activities.

Finally, Jon encourages business leaders to set aside time to creatively seek new methods or ideas. However, this time needs to be scheduled to prevent it interfering with other priorities. Setting an alarm to signal the end of a task is an effective way to avoid becoming sidetracked. This method is also useful for social media where many businesses lose valuable hours.

“The key to efficient self-management is to change habits to establish beneficial long-term behaviours. Businesses must focus on the value of a task to increase the profitability of their existing resources. If tasks align with company goals, effective prioritisation becomes a natural by-product,” concluded Jon.