In the business world, time is money, and if you’re sending signals that your time isn’t valuable, some co-workers and staffers may waste your time, and even steal your time by interrupting your work.

As a business owner or manager, sending the wrong signals about the value of your time opens up daily, on-going opportunities for others to diminish the value of your time and misuse it, costing the business money and costing you a lot of aggravation.

There are lots of ways to assign high value to your time and let others know that you aren’t a time-waster. You’re efficient. Productive. Directed. Motivated. Unfortunately, some of those with whom you work may view your time as less valuable, and therefore, waste it.

1.  Delegate responsibilities. If you collaborate with every employee or department head who wants your attention, you’re at risk for being interrupted all day, every day. Learn to say “no” to make the best use of your valuable time. Delegate responsibilities to others so you don’t have to do it all and can spend your time on important matters.

2. Be accessible, but don’t overdo it. If you take every phone call or immediately respond to every email that lands in your inbox, you may indicate to others that you have lots of free time. Let calls go to voicemail, let less critical emails sit, avoid too many ad hoc meetings in the hallway, and keep your focus on your “to-do” list each day. The calls and emails can wait. Your time is valuable.

3. Stay focused and on schedule. Schedule your time each day and stick to the schedule. Don’t stop your work to jump in on another project. Key company personnel are sometimes pulled in different directions by others as their own work falls further and further behind. Keep your focus on your tasks and don’t allow interruptions. Let co-workers know that if your office door is closed, you’re busy and working.

4. Keep meetings and conferences on time.  Set the tone. If you don’t take action to ensure meetings and strategy sessions start and end promptly, you send a signal that you have time for another cup of coffee as the projector is set up. You set the schedule. Determine when the meeting will start and when it will end. Then, make sure employees know to be on time and ready to work at the amount of time you’ve allotted to get the work done.

5. Monitor your own time. If a meeting runs long, you may be playing catch-up all day, and at the end of the day, you may not have gotten all of your tasks completed. Recognize the value of your time, and make sure the business team understands it as well.

Set up the boundaries you need to get all of your work done, and to show others that you need focused time to accomplish all of your objectives of the day.


The information provided is presented for general informational purposes only and does not constitute tax, legal or business advice. Any views expressed in this article may not necessarily be those of Nevada State Bank, a division of Zions Bancorporation, N.A. Member FDIC