How to properly manage your time is a skill that every business owner struggles with.
We must juggle the daily demands of our business, along with the demands of family, relationships and our personal interests. It can be very difficult for us to productively manage our time.
Difficult, but not impossible.
When you do it right, you will be able to dedicate more time to the right things – those that are most important to you and to the success of your business.
And you will create simplicity in your business.
the best way to manage your time
By working smarter, not harder.
Do you start with great intentions, plan ahead and even create a to-do list?
But then find yourself exhausted at the end of the day, with only a couple things checked off?
You find it hard to prioritise, focus on the wrong things, put out endless fires, and overcommit yourself to more than you can realistically achieve in the time you’ve given yourself.
Working smarter, instead of harder requires you to first become super clear about:
- What you want your business to achieve
- When you want to achieve it by
- What needs to happen for you to get there
- And if you have the skills and knowledge necessary to reach your goals
4 tips to better manage your time
Once you’re clear on what you want to achieve, try out these 4 tips to help you manage your time and achieve your goals.
You need to learn to delegate.
It’s hard for me too, but you really can’t do everything yourself. It’s literally impossible, both physically and mentally.
As a small business, you might be running the sales, managing the accounts, handling your social media as well as making or delivering the product or service itself.
No wonder you are exhausted!
Focus on what you are good at and what you enjoy. Hire someone else to relieve you of some of the other tasks. This person can work with you on a part-time basis, or as needed.
So now you have your specific areas of focus and have delegated everything else. Great!
What are the five most important things that need to be done today?
Make a list of these in order of priority and stick to these. Resist the temptation to work on things that pop up as the day goes on. That email that seems urgent or that order you need to tend to or those millions of fires you need to put out the minute the day starts.
Of course this won’t always be possible, but try your hardest to stick to your plan and complete your daily goals.
Once these are completed and you still have bandwidth, you can shift your focus to those tasks that came up during the day or those that aren’t urgent but would be great to get done today.
If you are anything like me, you find it hard to concentrate on one thing for long stretches of time.
Some people are able to focus for three or four hour stretches without distraction. Others need to take short breaks at regular intervals.
Some people are more productive in the wee hours of the morning. Others yet, find it easier to perform specific tasks in the afternoon with loud music playing.
Figuring out what rhythm and environment helps you work better is super important, especially in the world today when traditional ways and hours of working are being tested. If you were used to working from your office from 9am – 5pm, with an hour’s break for lunch, working from home, with the distraction of kids or the fridge can be challenging.
I concentrate best in the early morning hours. So I spend the first 2 hours of every day focusing on tasks that require more thought, like strategic planning. I then dedicate my afternoons to tasks that are less mentally demanding like responding to emails, having meetings and reviewing the work of my team.
We all work differently.
Understand how your energy and concentration levels fluctuate throughout the day and structure your work tasks to suit that.
4. set boundaries
Remember, you are the boss. You have the power to say no to things that distract you from your goals. Exercise that power!
For example, rather than have constant interruptions from your team throughout the day, schedule in specific times to check in with them when they know they’ll receive your dedicated attention.
When setting up meetings with clients, suppliers and partners, propose days and times that work best for you. I only book in client sessions on two days of the week, so I can manage my time on the other three days most effectively.
Of course, exceptions need to be made sometimes. But take more control of your calendar rather than allowing it to be controlled by everyone else.
over to you
How do you manage your time? What impact has this had on your business operations? Let us know in the comments below.
You might not always get it right, but be kind to yourself and try to manage your time better tomorrow. And again the day after that!