10 Top Time Management Strategies for Small Business Owners
Running a small business can be overwhelming. From managing employees, marketing campaigns and taking care of customers to maintaining your online presence – there’s never enough time to accomplish all your objectives! Here are 10 tips that will help you manage time more effectively so your company can achieve what it sets out to achieve!
1) Don’t Just Dream It Up – Create a Schedule and Stick to It
One of the greatest detriments to productivity is failing to create an organized list of objectives for the day. Unorganized work leads to inefficiency and waste of time, so create your schedule according to current priorities – whether that means an hour-by-hour breakdown or organized list with tasks to finish – so that your time is used efficiently.
Mondays can be reserved for sales calls, while Tuesdays are dedicated to billing. Mornings might be reserved for cold calls while afternoons are dedicated to strategies and order fulfillment. No matter the scenario, make sure that you have a plan in place so you don’t spend all day worrying about what needs to be done next instead of actually accomplishing the tasks at hand.
2) Limit Multitasking
A cartoon illustration man juggling clocks. Multitasking may seem like a practical way to save time by getting more done in less time, but it could actually do more harm than good. Focusing on one task at a time can increase efficiency and productivity; however, trying to handle everything simultaneously as you check emails, reply texts, and address each issue that arises won’t give each item the attention it deserves. Not only will you need to correct mistaken actions later on but it also wastes valuable mental energy switching gears within yourself – trust us: one thing at a time is most efficient!
3) Don’t Be Afraid to Delegate
Choose trusted individuals and assign them tasks you don’t have time or don’t know how to finish. This frees you up to focus on what you do best: the jobs that matter most. If starting a new company or one with limited staff size, consider giving college credits for interns or outsourcing work to freelance contractors.
4) Plan Time For Rest And Rejuvenation
It is essential that we include time for rest when planning our schedules.
Remember the legend of Archimedes, who was charged by King with creating an instrument to distinguish genuine gold from counterfeit gold?
Archimedes worked tirelessly, never finding an answer to his problems. Finally, his wife insisted he take a bath in a hot tub as an opportunity for rest and reflection. As Archimedes entered the tub, he observed the water rise – providing him with insight into why displacement of water could solve so many problems.
The moral is this: taking breaks saves time and increases productivity. Our minds, like our bodies, need regular breaks from time to time; if you don’t take them, fatigue sets in and leads to poorer outcomes.
5) Clear Your Space
Cluttered desks or offices make it difficult to focus and work efficiently, leading to wasted time. According to a study, 43 percent of Americans consider themselves among the unorganized, with two out of every three workers arriving late due to this.
Organising your physical space helps foster mental organization and efficient work. Color-coded folders for files, distinct piles for Business Management Tips outgoing and incoming mail, and similar strategies can assist you in quickly finding information when needed. Clearing away clutter and trash on a regular basis also contributes to keeping an organized workspace that promotes productivity.
6) Recognize and Eliminate Time Wasters
Everyone is guilty of doing or not doing things that cause them to spend more time doing less productive tasks. Track down which ones apply to you by keeping a journal – this will help identify them quickly so you can work toward eliminating them from your life.
If you find yourself spending too much time on social networks, create an option to block URLs for problematic sites on your preferred browser. If deciding where to have lunch each day is becoming a struggle, take it with you when at work. Furthermore, set limits on how much email checking time you’ll do each day.
7) President Eisenhower and the 80/20 Rule
Former President Dwight D. Eisenhower famously said, “What is important is seldom urgent, and what is urgent rarely matters.” His dictum can be summarized with 80/20 rule: 80% of results come from 20% effort.
At the end of the day, these concepts boil down to one thing: distinguishing what’s truly essential from that which simply requires attention. Focus your energies on that which Eisenhower would consider essential – even if it seems urgent at the time.
8) Try the “Pomodoro Technique”
For 25 minutes, set a kitchen timer with the shape of an Italian tomato (the word itself meaning 25 minutes). Focus on one task until your alarm sounds; then take 5 minutes as a break before beginning another 25 minute task. This method works great if you struggle with focus or organization of time or want to ensure you dedicate enough effort towards any given task (say five “pomodoros”) per week.
9) Understand How to Balance Your Time
According to research published in McKinsey Quarterly, most managers who are dissatisfied with their management abilities share one characteristic: an inability to manage time effectively. They spend too much time on the internet or networking, fixing fires or caring for employees – each important but when too much focus is put on one area it can cause all other tasks to slide by the wayside and cause time management problems.
Although it can be challenging to fit all your tasks into the four quadrants described previously, it can be beneficial to divide your daily responsibilities into different buckets and strive to maintain a balance between them.
Technology can make business owners today more stressed than ever – one has to wonder how Steve Jobs managed social media marketing while working out of his garage – but it also presents many opportunities to simplify and streamline processes. With an almost limitless selection of applications, programs and online services available today, there are numerous ways to take on time-consuming tasks while letting computers handle them for you.