6 Tips for Better Time Management
Small business owners can sometimes feel there aren’t enough hours in the day to get things done. You may be busy all day, yet at the end of the day, you feel like you haven’t done half the things on your to-do list. This can make daily life miserable for you and those around you.
Fortunately, you can develop time management skills and integrate them into your routine. Good time management skills can help you achieve your goals faster. When you manage your time better, you can take on more opportunities and scale your business.
So what is time management, and why is it important? In this article, we’ll be answering these questions and more. You’ll also find 6 tips for better time management that you can try.
Time management definition
Time management involves planning and controlling the time you spend on specific tasks. This process allows you to give priority to certain tasks. This can lead to you working more efficiently. Effective time management comes easier to some individuals than others. However, everyone can develop time management skills. All it takes is developing some healthy habits and exercising self-discipline.
According to Dodd and Subdheim, people who practice good time management techniques find that they:
- Are more productive
- Have more energy and motivation to accomplish goals
- Have more free time to enjoy hobbies, etc.
- Are more positive towards life and others
- Feel better about themselves.
Managing time effectively offers several benefits to business owners as well. These include:
- Boosting your performance and sales
- Meeting deadlines and always delivering on your promises on time
- Growing your business and meeting your goals
- Lowering stress levels
- Creating a good work-life balance
Why is it important to develop time management skills
As a business owner, you get to be your own boss and choose when and how you work. However, as good as this sounds, it does have certain disadvantages. The fact that you don’t answer to anyone or nobody’s there to review your work can cause you to waste time. You may develop bad habits that damage your productivity and the quality of your work. If you continue this way, these habits can hurt your business and stop growth.
Poor time management as a business owner can result in:
- Rushed submissions
- Missed deadlines
- Excessive multi-tasking
- Stressful work environments
- High employee turnover
- Strained work-life balance
- Bad professional reputation
6 tips for better time management
Good time management skills can be used to create a time management strategy. This will allow you to manage time effectively to help your business flourish. Here are some of the best time management tips to increase productivity.
You should start by prioritizing tasks. As a business owner, there’s always going to be work for you to do. This is why it is important to get your priorities straight. Doing so will allow you to set smart goals and stick to them.
Create a task list of what needs to be done by the end of the day, week, or month. List each task in order of importance. This way, if you don’t get everything done on your list, the most urgent tasks are taken care of.
You can use the Covey Time Management Matrix created by Steven Covey. It consists of 4 simple parts. These include:
- Urgent and important tasks
- Not urgent but important tasks
- Urgent but not important tasks
- Not urgent and not important tasks.
Having a good sense of time and working on the urgent and important things first can help you get more done faster. Remember to set realistic expectations and hold yourself accountable.
Tip: Keep your task list someplace where you’d be able to see it at all times. If you’re faced with challenging tasks, do them when your productivity is highest. Break them up into smaller tasks so you don’t get overwhelmed. Completing small tasks can help you finish challenging tasks faster. This can give you enough time to spare when you have tight deadlines.
2. Delegate work
Most small business owners intentionally take on too many responsibilities. In the early stages of your business, it is common to do most of the work by yourself. This happens because you may think that nobody can do the job as well as you can. However, regardless of the reason, you shouldn’t get to the point where you feel overworked. If you want to scale your business, delegating is important, and creating the right business plan is key.
The first thing to do is look at the way you’re managing your current team. Ask yourself whether you trust them to handle the most important tasks. Try to take on more of an advisory role. Guide your team slowly and increase their responsibilities in areas where they shine. This will save you time and create a more empowering environment for your employees.
If you’ve already done this and your team is still drowning in work, it’s time to hire more people. Find the right people and set them up with a mentor from your current team. However, hiring comes with high upfront costs. These include financing additional salaries and training new employees. However, these expenses will pay for themselves in the long run. You’ll have more time on your hands and a stronger team.
Tip: Check in with your team from time to time. Find out about the progress of tasks and assist them if they genuinely need your help.
3. Identify time wasters
Distractions are all around us, and it can be hard to stay focused. Chatty coworkers and checking your social media constantly can kill productivity. Some distractions are beyond your control, while others can be easily avoided. All you need to do is exercise some self-discipline. Establishing healthy boundaries can help reduce wasted time. Create boundaries with those you live or work with. Block access to certain sites or lock your phone inside a drawer. It all starts with you. You must be willing to take the necessary steps to boost productivity.
Tip: Overcoming distractions will be quite challenging at first. You can start by identifying your biggest distractions. After that, you can focus on eliminating them one at a time.
4. Automate your business
The right automation tools can help to reduce your workload and optimize operations. There are several automation tools available to small businesses and startups. These can help you stay relevant in a competitive market. They automate tasks that take up a lot of time but yield little returns. This way you and your team have more time to complete complex tasks.
Let’s say you spend about 4 hours a week on reports for your weekly team reports. AI-powered analytics software can cut that time in half. They can auto-generate visually engaging reports. These reports can reflect real-time data with just the click of a button. Another example would be if you’re struggling to prioritize leads. Efficient CRM software can evaluate leads and tell you which are more likely to convert.
Tip: Choosing the right automation tools can be a bit hard due to the sheer volume of tools on the market. The first thing to do is to identify what business process will give you the most value by automating. For more on this, read this post on ways to automate your home services business.
5. Use time-tracking tools
Time-tracking tools provide several advantages. It challenges you and your team to complete tasks before their due date. They can also hold employees accountable for their contributions.
These tools can help you measure efficiency. They can evaluate how much time a person spends on specific activities. Time-tracking apps can be integrated into your existing system. If not, you can look for a new software program with built-in time-tracking tools.
Tip: Time-tracking tools can help you create a proper schedule. They will let you know what you can spend more or less time on. This way, you can complete everything on your daily to-do list a lot faster.
6. Take a break
As an entrepreneur, you probably feel like you shouldn’t take a break. If you think like this, you couldn’t be more wrong. The key to improving your productivity is to strike a balance between work and rest. Creativity dies when you’re constantly worried about all you need to do.
Tip: Make sure you and your employees take regular breaks. Spend time away from your desks to take a moment to recharge. Having a cup of coffee, taking a stroll, or reading a book can all help you relax. Set aside time each day to do something that takes you away from all the work you have to do.
Time management conclusion
Be patient with yourself, as time management isn’t a skill that develops overnight. Your time management strategies may also change as your business grows and your workload evolves.
Start small and develop habits that align with your work. Practice these habits religiously until they become second nature. Incorporate them into your routine and take note of how they help you accomplish more in less time. This will allow you to stay motivated and stick to these habits.
If you’re still struggling with managing your time, reach out to the experts at Scorpion. They’ll work with you to provide solutions and free up your time to enjoy your daily life.
Featured Image Credit: Provided by the Author; Thank you!