How well you manage your time could shape the future of your business. As small business owners, we start out by doing everything ourselves. We get so busy with things like accounts and administration that we find there is no time left to build the business. There is no easy way to change this, other than you starting to use your time more effectively. Good work habits also support a healthy work-life balance. We all need to set aside time for our family, relaxing and creating precious memories.
Here are six tips to help you remove some of the chaos and find the time to focus on what is really important in your business.
Being disorganised not only frustrates you but makes for a lot of time wasting when you can’t locate what you need easily.
Get rid of clutter in your office. Throw out anything you no longer need and organise the rest so that the things you do need are easy to find. Keep only current projects on your desk and avoid storing anything in piles.
Clarify and Set Priorities
A to-do list – which is crucial, is not enough. Use the list to establish the most important things you want to accomplish. Unless you’re clear about your priorities you can’t be sure that you’re using your time effectively.
If you are managing your time well, and focusing on what’s important, you will soon discover that you have fewer urgent things to attend to. And the urgent items that do come up will be easier to handle because you’ve got everything else covered.
Use A Single Calendar
Consolidate all of your commitments, both work and personal into one calendar or diary system. Quite often we over-commit at work because we forget about things we have agreed to do outside the office.
Do more Delegating
As a small business owner, we tend to initially do everything and the step to outsource tasks is difficult. Many people feel they can’t afford to outsource those areas of business they don’t like or don’t have the skills for when in actual fact, you find that you can’t afford “NOT” to outsource when working on your own – Time is Money!
Set against all of these perceived disadvantages is one overwhelming benefit – the more you delegate/outsource, the more time you have to grow your business – this is the ultimate achievement of implementing time management strategies.
Take a fresh look at your to-do list and make an honest assessment of what you realistically could hand over to someone else.
Understand this: Every time you answer an unexpected phone call, every time you open your email, every time someone drops by your office unannounced, you are letting other people set your priorities.
Is that how you want to run your business? Or even your life?
Instead, implement some time management techniques and batch all your related, routine tasks several times a day. Check your email three times a day – once in the morning after you have handled your top priorities for the day, once right after lunch and once about an hour before close of business. And shut it off in between.
Let your voicemail pick up phone calls during your most productive time of the day and return those calls during one of your “batch” times.
Learn to say “NO”
This is a hard skill to learn, but so important. Constantly over committing yourself can leave you feeling angry and resentful, create high levels of stress and even lead to burnout. Anticipate these kinds of requests and be ready with a polite but firm refusal.
If you need help with time management to prioritise where best to spend time in your business, or it is at the point where you need to outsource some of your workload – Your Business Helper is here to help get your business to the next level.