I’m sure everyone has had days, weeks, months or even years of feeling snowed under with work, stressed and like they have little time for family or friends. Within a small business it seems that this is compounded, with less people to delegate to and, if you are the small business owner, a vast majority of tasks falling to yourself.
Planning how to manage your time is not a waste of time! Once you have decided how to plan your time you will become much more efficient saving yourself a lot of time, which you can then spend with your family and friends.
Here are some key ways to improve your time management:
- Track your time The first step to successful time management is to find out where you are wasting time. Keep a log of your daily activities; and if there are huge amounts of time missing from your day then you know you are procrastinating somewhere!
- Prioritise, prioritise, prioritise! If you have an endless amount of tasks to complete, knowing where to start can be impossible. Write down everything you need to do and assign numbers to each task. This will give you focus and increase your productivity.
- Set goals. If you have a clear goal in mind for every day, or even each hour, then do all you can to achieve those goals.
- Establish time limits for specific tasks. Only allow yourself a certain amount of time for tasks that can become time consuming, such as reading and responding to email.
- Outsource and delegate! Remember, there are only 24 hours in a day, so let other people help you. Delegate to others in your business, or if you are a sole-trader, outsource work that you do not have to do yourself. Bear in mind that your time is money!
There will, of course, be times when deadlines need to be met or work just has to be done that will make even the most well organized small business owner feel that they are not managing their time effectively. But, if you stay on top of time management the majority of the time then a happy work/life balance shouldn’t be impossible.