Time management tips for small business owners
Effective time management is perhaps one of the most important skills a small business owner must master in order to be successful. As a small business owner, you probably work long hours and struggle to fit all aspects of running a small business into the 24 hours a day has. Being successful, as you should know, though, is not about working longer. It’s about working smarter.
Here are 7 simple time management tips that will help you get the most of your precious time at work so you can actually enjoy your free time:
Get organized. Now.
As a small business owner, you have a million and one tasks to complete every day. Create a schedule and stick to it like your life depends on it (hint: it does). Keep your schedule organized and don’t take too much time to manage your calendar. If you set it right at the beginning, it will save you many precious minutes of planning what to do each day.
Put your “free” time on the list
On any given day, there are more tasks to be completed than you are capable of. Take as much time as you need to deeply realize this. If you want to be effective (and satisfied with what you do), include your “me” time in your to-do list. Do not sacrifice exercise or a lunch with an old friend for completing yet another work-related task. Life is what happens to you every single day so include at least one activity that makes you happy per day and see your productivity blooms like a spring flower.
Do NOT multitask
Multitasking is one of the least efficient ways to get anything done. The only thing it does is distract you from what you are doing already and make you lose some more of your precious minutes while your brain is frantically trying to figure out what to do when and how to do two things simultaneously. The result: it took you almost twice as much time to “multitask” than it would take you to single-task the same things.
As we already discussed, there are only 24 hours in a day. That includes eating, sleeping, and resting! We know you don’t think anyone would complete a task in the way you would. It’s true – they won’t. But when you delegate tasks responsibly, you make your employees (or independent contractors) feel more confident in their own skills. They eventually end up doing the work in a way that is satisfactory to you. And that’s all that matters!
Eliminate time wasters
Time wasters are these nasty little invisible bugs that eat up plenty of your time without you even realizing how it happened. For every small business owner, these may be different. The most common time wasters are social media, phone calls, email checking, and making unimportant decisions like choosing what to wear or where to have lunch, etc. Find out what your time wasters are and kill those time-suckers before they become so big that they start eating most of your time!
Follow the 80/20 rule
The 80/20 rule says that 80% of the results come from 20% of the effort. In terms of time management, that means making the difference between what’s important and what’s urgent. “What is important is seldom urgent and what is urgent is seldom important.” – President Dwight D. Eisenhower. Enough said.
Master space management
A lot of small business owners think only in terms of time when they seek better productivity, efficiency, and satisfaction. An equally important aspect of time management, however, is space management. You simply cannot organize your time when the space you spend it in is a mess. If you want to increase your productivity and better manage your time, start with your working space. Put everything in order and get rid of all distractions. If something is not an essential part of your work, it has to go.