Running a small business can be hard. Juggling management, admin, sales, marketing, chasing leads, taking care of clients, managing your web presence, and the countless other activities means business owners are often wearing many hats.
You are always going to have a fairly packed schedule and the best you can do is make sure your time is well-managed, so you can pack as much productivity into the time you have as possible.
Here are our favourite time management tips for small business owners. Hopefully, they’ll help you and your business thrive through even the most hectic of working days.
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Planning your week is the key to good time management – whether you’re self-employed or a growing start-up. Creating a schedule for your week allows you to plan ahead and structure your time so that you can prioritize and re-prioritize tasks – all while cutting down on your stress levels.
You could use time management tools such as Trello, or just the old fashion way with a planner/diary.
For example, if you are a personal trainer, you would book your clients weeks in advance and then you can plan to fit in all your other admin tasks in between your sessions.
A to-do list is a list of the things you want or need to get done within your day, organised according to priority. The most urgent and important tasks should be at the top, and less important or things that could be moved to another day towards the bottom.
It is vital to ensure you keep your to-do list realistic, otherwise it could cause you unnecessary stress, or leave you feeling unmotivated, if you have not completed everything on it.
Some experts recommend keeping a daily to-do list down to 6 items, and others advise as few as 3 big tasks.
When physical space is organised, it leads to organised mental space and more efficient work.
Time blocking is a time management method that asks you to divide your day into blocks of time. Each block is dedicated to accomplishing a specific task.
Depending on the task, you could time block 50 minutes and then step away from it, for a 10-15 minute ‘time out’ to stretch your legs, check your phone, grab a drink and then come back feeling recharged.
Multitasking might seem like a smart way to save time by doing as many tasks as possible into a short amount of time and all at once, but it’s likely to do more harm than good. Focusing on one task at a time increases productivity and performance.
If it really needs to be done, and you don’t have the time or skills to do it yourself, see if you can outsource. Invest in support from a virtual assistant, use apps, try affordable freelancing sites like People Per Hour or Fiverr.
By ensuring you’ve set up every possible automation, you’re not wasting time in routine tasks such as sending emails or processing invoices.