Time management is among the top issues plaguing most small business owners.
Especially when starting with little capital, you’ll have to juggle different roles and activities in your business. Sometimes you might be frustrated because it seems as if the tasks are never fully completed. It seems as though you’re stuck, considering the number of years you want to run your business and the activities you’re being faced with.
Not to worry anymore, there’s a way out. It is possible to have more time for yourself as a small business owner. It is still possible to see your favourite movies on weekends. Running a small business doesn’t have to be super-stressful.
Continue reading, and you’ll discover the six proven time management tips you can use in regaining back your time.
1. Set Goals For Yourself
Having business goals is a powerful way of managing your time as a business owner. Over the years, it has been identified by experts to be a single force that enhances workplace productivity and time management. Beyond improving the effective use of time, goal-setting can help entrepreneurs in achieving faster results.
Where most entrepreneurs get it wrong is by writing unrealistic goals without a specified time-frame. For instance, just saying ”i want to sign extra 30 clients for my business” without putting the required system in place to help you achieve it and without setting a time-bound. The afore-mentioned example is as good as a wish because it lacks the essential characteristics of a gaol.
Every goal should be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound (SMART). When setting your goals, endeavour to write it down. Please don’t assume you will recall it, as assumption is the lowest level of awareness. Writing your goals have a way of both inspiring you and keep you on track. Therefore, setting goals as a business owner remains an effective way of managing time for optimal productivity.
2. Know Your Priorities
Setting goals is pretty natural that almost anyone can do it; implementing is where the work lies. Often after setting the goals, we still tend not to achieve everything we’ve written due to some external factors.
So does that mean our goals we’re not SMART enough? Not really. Does it mean also mean that we weren’t active enough to achieve them? Maybe! Or Maybe Not.
It’s merely a question of discipline and priority. To avoid overlapping your goals and carrying over an endless routine of tasks, you need to clarify what’s most urgent and have the discipline to see it through. After writing out your goals, tick the ones that most essential and start with it.
3. Identify your productivity zone.
A productivity zone is simply the time when you’re most productive and active. It’s all about knowing what works for you and sticking to it through thick and thin.
Some persons are more active during the early morning hours and tend to achieve more in less time when working during those hours. On the other hand, some persons are night owls, they’re most productive at night and tend to achieve more.
The trick here is in identifying your productivity zone and putting more tasks at that time. Not only will it let you achieve more in less time, but it will also enable you to create more time for yourself as a business owner and improve your time management techniques.
4. Track your Time
Whatever gets measured, gets managed and improved. It’s easy to dwell under the assumption that you’re productive when you do not measure the amount of time spent on each task. Tracking of time is primarily among the top way of improving productivity as an entrepreneur.
Instead of assuming, take conscious steps in tracking your time spent on each task. Tracking your time will reveal two important things to you. Firstly, it will show your slacks or areas where you’re wasting time.
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Secondly, it will enable you to manage your time better and efficiently meet up with deadlines. There are several numbers of mobile and desktop applications that can allow you to track your time, visit your app store, and choose the one that works best for you.
5. Cut out distractions
Truth be told, if we honestly examine our use of time, we’ll be shocked at the outcome. Most times, social media and internet surfing takes a more significant portion of our time that we spend doing the actual work.
We live in a digital age with myriads of information battling for our attention. We need to consciously design a system that lets us cut off distractions as much as possible. Both online and offline distractions inclusive.
For digital distractions, you can track your use of social media apps. For instance, you use “Google’s Digital Well-being” mobile app in timing your use of your social media. Alternatively, you can choose a time to check your phone and reply to emails.
Eliminating distractions conserves your energy. It leaves the entrepreneur will enough focus to smash the day’s goals in less time.
6. Delegate! Delegate!!
The art of delegation is one of the most crucial skills every small business owner needs to possess. It merely means assigning tasks to a subordinate or colleague to handle.
Not all operational business activity qualifies for the investment of your time, choose tasks that align with your strength and delegate the rest. It’s a way of being productive.
In today’s world, delegating doesn’t have to be expensive. We operate in a gig economy where you can work with remote workers all over the globe from the comfort of your house. Fiverr and Upwork are great platforms for discovering competent remote workers.
Quick Productivity Hack
Before we wrap up this section, let’s briefly highlight an excellent way of setting and smashing goals as identified by Ivy Lee. Ivy Lee is a productivity consultant, popularly known for his famous Ivy Lee Method, which has allowed various organizations in maximizing their time and enhancing their work productivity. They include:
- At the end of each workday, write down the six most important things you need to accomplish tomorrow. It doesn’t necessarily have to be six, you can write depending on the level of activities you need to accomplish the next day.
- First things first, prioritize those six items in order of their true importance.
- When you arrive tomorrow, concentrate only on the first task, endeavour not to multitask. Work until the first task is finished before moving on to the second task.
- Continue the same process until you’ve exhausted your list. At the end of the day, move any unfinished items to a new list of six tasks for the following day.
- Repeat this process every working day.
Time management is never a one size fit all kind of thing. To effectively manage your time, you have to choose what works for you and stick to it. The tips listed here will guide you in effectively maximize your time as you run your business.