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Small Business Owner ?Time Management Tips that work

Follow these suggestions from HOUZZ to help manage your time more efficiently and boost productivity !

Originally published August 2017

Ever feel like you’ve got too much to do and not enough time to do it?

As a small-business owner your time is probably divided by managing all aspects of your business and you might feel that there simply isn't enough hours in the day

These tips are to help you effectively hone your time management skills and increase your productivity....

Log your time wonder where the time goes ?

make a diary of how you spend your day, logging all the activities you do, and detail how much time you spend doing each one.

This will help you identify tasks you spend longer on than others. Look at those tasks and ask yourself how productive the time spent on them actually is.

Are you spending too long on activities that don’t produce effective results? Rebecca Alexander, executive coach at The Coaching Studio, advises,

"If there’s a consistent gap between the tasks you’re setting yourself and what you’re achieving, it’s time to identify whether you’re setting yourself too much, whether you’re spending time on things you don’t need to, or if ordinary tasks are taking you too long because of a lack of confidence, resources or motivation.
Whichever of those three it is (and it might be more than one), make a plan for how to tackle it, try your plan out for a fortnight and then evaluate what’s worked.”

Time management experts think we spend far too much time on ‘Urgent, Non-Important’ tasks and less than 10% of our time on ‘Important, Not Urgent’ tasks.”

Delegate or Outsource

As a small-business owner you have to wear many hats and you might think you don’t have the resources to get others to share the workload, but in fact that could be a false economy.

delegate tasks that you don’t enjoy or aren’t good at ! to professionals who are better and faster than you. This could be accounts, marketing, technical drawings, social media or small admin jobs. Outsourcing these jobs gives you more time to focus on the work you want to be doing and increases your efficiency.

How many times have you tried to do more than one job at the same time?

“If you have something important to do, tackle it the minute you get into the office, and, crucially, before you open your email. That early extra hour can be a golden time to get things done. We tend to think we’ll check emails or voicemails for five minutes, but then we get sucked into whatever those messages throw up and before you know it two hours have gone by and your important task isn’t even started. If you delay opening your email for an hour you will get a huge amount tackled and – let’s be honest – most emails can wait for an hour before you respond.”

A recent study found that multi-tasking reduces productivity by 40%, so instead of trying to do umpteen things at the same time organise your day into time slots where you can focus on each particular job with no distractions.

Identify your peak times When do you do your best work? Perhaps you have loads of energy to focus on tasks in the morning, or maybe you have a boost in the afternoon or evening. Where you can, schedule your most challenging or important tasks during your peak-performance times.

Don’t over schedule Having an organised plan for your day is the best way to improve your time management, but do remember to allow space for the unexpected.

There are always going to be last minute or unplanned jobs that come along and you need to be able deal with them just as efficiently as those you’ve already factored into your day !

What are your top time management tips? Share your ideas in the Comments section.

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