It takes a lot to run a business and it’s essential to manage your time well. Building a business undoubtedly requires you to put a lot of hours in, but the real key is to work smarter, not longer.
By carefully managing your time, you can ensure that you achieve your goals without suffering from burnout. Time is like money: you need to know how to invest it to maximise your returns. Here are seven easy time management tips to ensure that your business runs like a well-oiled machine.
Think of planning as an investment. Yes, there’s an upfront cost but you could see a tenfold return further down the line. A haphazard approach is rarely effective in business. Take time to create a roadmap now and you won’t have to keep stopping to ask for directions later.
This doesn’t just apply to your long-term business plan, either. The first thing you should do each Monday is figure out what your week is going to look like and write out a rough schedule. Then, take time each morning to sit down and plan out your day. This helps you remain focused and allows you to measure your progress.
Use Productivity Apps
There are plenty of fantastic productivity apps out there that can help you to manage your time more effectively. Not only do these apps allow you to neatly manage your to-do list, they also make it easier to stay on top of deadlines and prioritise accordingly.
Apps like Toggl and FocusKeeper even give you more insight as to how long you spend on certain tasks, which you can then use to boost your productivity in the future.
Small business owners often feel as though they should do everything themselves but delegation is important for optimal time management.
Outsourcing and delegating tasks allows you to make more effective use of your time. Concentrate on your areas of expertise, not the admin tasks that another team member could easily handle.
Taking on more work than you can handle is a sure fire way to overwhelm your business and ruin your reputation.
One of the most essential parts of time management is knowing when to say no. If you don’t have time to complete the project to the best of your ability, then it’s better to turn it down than to do a bad job.
Don't Be Tempted To Multitask
On the surface, multitasking might seem like a great way to save some time but it actually decreases the quantity and quality of your work. It’s much more time-efficient to focus on one task at a time and work methodically, rather than trying to juggle.
When your attention is divided multiple ways, you’re much more likely to make mistakes that you’ll have to go back and fix later on.
Be Honest With Yourself
No-one wants to admit that they waste valuable working time on Facebook, but you’re only human. It’s better to be aware of your weaknesses and actively work on fixing them than to continue allowing them to be a drain on your precious time.
If social media sites are your weakness, use blocking software so that you can’t access them during working hours. If there’s an overly chatty colleague who keeps distracting you, why not try wearing headphones? Or if you struggle to stay motivated on a Friday afternoon, prepare in advance and ensure that all important tasks are completed ahead of time.
You know the saying, “a stitch in time saves nine?” Well, that’s especially true when it comes to bookkeeping. If you put your books on the back burner now, you’ll certainly pay for it later.
Fixing bookkeeping mistakes and trying to fill in the gaps is a real time vacuum, so make bookkeeping a priority and take the “little and often” approach. It’s worth investing in an online bookkeeping software program to help you, such as QuickBooks or Xero.
Summary: Time Management Matters
You budget your money carefully, so be sure to take the same approach to your time. Careful time management makes each hour go further, giving you more opportunities to focus on what really matters to you.
Effective time management has the added benefit of helping you to reduce your stress levels and stay focused, which has a positive impact on both your personal life and your business.