The age-old saying “time is money” has stuck around for a very good reason. Basically, it’s just simply true. This is why it is especially important for small business owners to have excellent time management skills. Running a small business can take over your entire life, but it doesn’t have to if you manage your time wisely. Below we have compiled 5 helpful tips for managing your time as a small business owner.
1. Plan your day the night before – By already having a plan of what you want to accomplish and when, you will find it more difficult to become sidetracked doing other things. However, there will be unexpected interruptions in almost every day, so if you plan to work for about 10 hours a day, plan out about 6-8 hours of work, and jot down a few side projects you can focus on if you finish early.
2. Set times to check email – Unless your email is the lifeblood of how you gain clients and do business, try to set aside no more than 3-5 times within the day that you plan to check it, and thoughtfully make replies. Most people check their email approximately every 5-10 minutes. This can turn into a huge time-wasting activity, and again, unless email is integral to your business dealings, it’s doubtful there will be a new and incredibly important email there every 10 minutes.
3. Focus on one project & Refrain from multi-tasking – Only a very small percentage of the population can multi-task effectively. Many times, multi-tasking can lead to mistakes that will cause you to have to do the same project over again. By focusing on one project at a time, you remain in the right mindset to give your best work to it.
4. Set time limits for your tasks – If it typically takes you 2 hours to do the employee schedule, but you know that you are capable of doing it (and doing it well) in one hour, set a timer for one hour and focus on sticking to it. If you take 15 minutes more or 15 minutes less, no big deal, but try your best to set time limits and stick to them each and every time you repeat a task.
5. Don’t be afraid to delegate – Although you can guarantee that the work will be done the way you want it if you do it yourself, there’s a reason you hired a staff: so you don’t have to do all the work! Important projects that can’t allow for mistakes need to be your top priority, but there are plenty of other tasks that can be given to your employees. You may actually end up very surprised to find out how capable your supporting players are. This can also help you learn who is most suited to take care of things should you need to be away from the office, or who deserves it most when there is room to promote.
Have any time management techniques that you would like to share? We’d love to hear from you, so comment below!