Running a business takes time and investment. Except that it is impossible to do everything alone!
Relying on external service providers is often necessary for tasks you have little control over or have little time for.
The transformations of work are multiple: organization, management, spaces, furniture, culture, tools … nothing escapes. While our days are becoming less linear, how to adapt to these changes without losing efficiency?
Forms of work become multiple, often hybrid, paid or voluntary. Organizations are more horizontal, management becomes participatory, spaces are remodeled (co-working, telecommuting), furniture evolves towards more flexibility, tools change (video conference, chat, shared agenda, collaborative project management, shared management documents, etc.)
These emerging forms of work dusted off the field of time management, which was very much used in the last century. There is the management of time (time tracking), which is the action of measuring the time that we pass on shares, to make reports tailored to its needs; and management of time is about the personal organization of his work area at once broader and more common.
Historically, time management has been used in rather traditional fields such as factories for shift work where it can take the form of badgers or Kanban. This exercise is also developed to charge its customers in some very specific service professions, counted by the hour, lawyer, accounting expertise, etc. With the advent of new forms of work – time sharing, multi-employer, associative engagement, entrepreneurship, intrapreneurship – the question of the time we spend on each of our activities arise, both to balance our different activities but also to organize alone or in a team.
Measure Your Time to Bill
Service delivery organizations (design, IT, communication, payroll, human resources, marketing, finance, etc.) are not always full-fledged companies but often internal organizations to companies that are asked to work with “internal customers”. The traditional billing act (external or internal) imposes a time management because it is often necessary to justify the time spent on a project before billing it. In this case, employees must be able to indicate for which client and which project they are working on. It is then necessary to summarize the times spent by customer, project, and employee and by period to be able to “issue an invoice”.
Measure Your Time to Improve Productivity
If the projects are fixed (to the result) and therefore without the need to justify the time spent with its internal or external customer, it is necessary to be able to evaluate the project upstream with the necessity of an analysis on the time that the project will take. In this, the “tracking” of the time on previous projects, similar, is useful to the accumulation of knowledge on the projects that one carries out. The calculation of the profitability of the projects, useful in the context of a process of improvement of the performances, also requires a fine analysis of the past times. A comparison between expected time and time spent, over time, also improves the practices, the organization of projects and their profitability.
Understand Your Own Time
From a personal point of view, more and more workers have multiple activities: either several employers or a salaried activity and associative commitments or self-employment activities (with several clients). Estimating the time spent on each of its activities allows for better organization, to justify such or such compensation, remuneration, and to find a balance of life. Knowing the time required for each of our actions also makes it easier for us to subcontract them. It is also a fundamental trend, where expertise is more and more required in all our business than to outsource some of our work directly or via ad-hoc platforms to focus on its added value. Or what we like the most.
Studies show that when workers can limit too regular interruptions (email, message, phone call, SMS) they are more satisfied with their work. Personal production creates satisfaction: the pride of the work done. To do this, we have to agree on selected moments for personal production, which we can program in our calendar, where we isolate ourselves from digital and physical noise. Keeping track of your time can help you achieve that goal, especially if you’re timing your work. It is counterproductive but it creates an element of personal motivation to go faster and a good reason (the stopwatch that rotates) not to do anything else during that time and to isolate itself.
Keeping track of the time spent on our activities may seem backward, see a first step towards the Taylorization of white-collar workers. This is a risk that must be controlled by a few regulatory and especially cultural barriers. The new, participatory, transparent, horizontal modes of management do not tolerate coping by overly burdensome and inhuman accounting systems. The future of work must be humanistic and emancipatory, without transforming the human being into an anonymous link in a value chain whose objective is the enrichment of a few.
Like many time management tools, setting up a time management process in your organization must be done within the framework of shared objectives and in a transparent way. This allows some to focus or improve, others to prepare a subcontract and still others to follow the progress of a project in a goal of billing, collective efficiency, and improvement of future projects. Long live time management that frees us from the time we no longer have!
But how to correctly delegate your missions to become an outsourcing expert?
Anticipate Your Needs
For starters, do not wait to be head underwater to hire a freelancer.
Even if the latter is a professional, he will need to be briefed and supervised at the beginning.
To anticipate a maximum so that it is fully operational as soon as the rush arrives!
Choose the Right Tasks to Outsource
How to know which jobs to delegate? Start by making a list of missions that take your time and do not bring you back: administrative management, accounting, document retrieval, eve, writing emails, writing mail, etc.
Then, make a second list of tasks that require skills you do not have: design, writing, community management, development, etc.
Finally, in the last time, list the services to which you would like to give more time: animation of the blog, response to comments on social networks, participation in forums, sending the newsletter.
Take the Time to Select Its Providers
The advantage of anticipating your needs is also to take advantage of the time to choose your freelances. The more important the task is to the success of your activity, the more you will have to spend time on the selection of providers.
After receiving different offers, do not stop at the rate.
Check the freelance experience and vision of your project. To do this, you may need to spend some time with him on the phone, on Skype or face to face if he lives in your city.
A necessary step to ensure the smooth running of your collaboration.
Set Up Collaborative Tools
To become the king of outsourcing, master the collaborative tools!
It’s important to be in constant contact with your freelancers, to be able to simply interact with them and share the documents that are essential to their work.
Skype, Dropbox, Slack, Trello or Google Drive are all tools that deserve your attention!
Search on Expert Platforms
Where to recruit your freelancers? To avoid wasting time, it is best to choose a platform of choice on which you will have your habits.
To select it, consider the guarantees it offers in terms of payment, its ergonomics and above all, the quality and quantity of registered freelancers.
Each freelancer has a profile with a portfolio and the opinions of their previous clients. The selection is simplified!
Make Regular Points with Providers
Finally, if you want everything to work perfectly with your freelance team, organize regular videoconferences.
With the entire team or only one provider, in particular, it’s as you prefer.
The key is to share regularly to make a point on the progress of the mission and answer the questions of each.
To ensure that everything goes in the right direction, organize periodic meetings, once a month for example, during which you distribute and coordinate the tasks in consultation with your employees.