By Darren DeMatas
Business owners have a lot to handle on a daily basis. As you’re juggling your multifaceted duties, time management might fall to the wayside. Proper time management skills can turn an average entrepreneur into an exceptional small business owner.
With good time management habits, you won’t end up wasting your time. After all, there are only so many hours in the day; you want to make sure you spend them right.
The following highlights ten easy-to-follow time management tips for business owners.
1. Planning Is Essential
Going into any routine tasks haphazardly is sure to end badly. You’ll get so caught up in getting the task done that you might even forget why you started it in the beginning.
When you make a plan for any aspect of your business, you can see that plan through in steps. As any business coach would recommend, this makes it easier overall but also lends itself to time management goals.
Here’s how to get started: Choose five business goals to focus on for the week. Once you have these realistic goals in mind, make a plan for achieving each task and put it on your Google calendar. After the plan has been made for each, check one goal off the list per day. As you do so, make sure you do the important things first.
You’ll find that having a plan in place will help with achieving those productivity goals and doing so in a time efficient manner.
2. Use Smartphone Apps
Smartphone apps are the ultimate business tools. These handy apps make it possible for you to stay on track timewise, make a list of your plans and goals, and execute these goals perfectly, so you won’t spend too much time on one thing.
Although some business owners like pen-and-paper lists to handle their tasking, smartphone apps are so easy to use and will keep everything streamlined in one set place.
Some of the popular productivity apps include Trello, Wunderlist, and Evernote. All these tool apps will help you to stay on track and keep your time management at its maximum potential.
3. Delegate Tasks When Possible
Even though you’re in charge of the business, you don’t have to handle every aspect of it as you might not have enough time. It’s okay to delegate and for the benefit of effective time management and productivity you should definitely do so.
You can choose which administrative tasks you want to delegate to the right person; whether it’s handing them over to an employee at your business on-site or outsourcing the jobs elsewhere.
Although you might want to handle a lot of the work yourself, you’re bound to understand how your business can be helped once you start delegating tasks to other team members.
4. Track Your Finances In a Timely Manner
Keeping track of your business finances is essential as a business owner but it’s a timely task to say the least. Fortunately, there are ways to track your finances in a timely manner.
A good online bookkeeping system will help you to manage finances easily and with time management in mind.
Some of the online options to consider include QuickBooks, MineralTree, and Xero.
5. Stay Focused
Let’s face it. It’s really easy to get distracted. But, when you own your own business, if you’re not working and suffering from procrastination, you’re likely not making money. And this isn’t a smart goal to have when it comes to productivity!
You have to keep your business life and personal life separate. When you’re handling business duties, keep the personal conversations, Facebook surfing, and overall distractions to a minimum. On the other hand, when you’re having family time, try to put the work aspect aside for a while and remain focused on your loved ones. Since you don’t have much time for all your business duties you have to stay focused when you’re working.
As you might imagine, there’s even an app to help you in the focus department. The app, called SelfControl, will help you block certain websites during the workday that you like to visit on your days off. This way you won’t be tempted to click on any of them during the workday and get distracted without reaching your goal.
6. Don’t Be Afraid to Say No
You might want to take on all work that comes your way and are hesitant to say no. But, as a boss, there will come a time when you have to say no.
As you contemplate which work projects to complete and which ones to decline, go with the one that will fit the best according to time management and productivity. As a small business owner, you’re going to be busy and you’re going to have to leave some projects off your schedule.
In the end, don’t be afraid to say no. If you can’t fit a certain project in your schedule and complete it with efficiency and total success, then it’s best to say no.
7. Track Your Time
Time management for business owners can’t really be kept track of unless you track your time. With time tracking your own time you can see what tasks take the most time and which ones can be accomplished more quickly.
Tracking your time will also highlight what tasks can be accomplished in a single day and what ones have to be pushed over to another time. Some days you won’t have much time to finish everything you need to so you have to keep track of the time spent.
You can use the pomodoro technique to keep track of your work time. The pomodoro technique involves taking 25 minutes to spend on one specific task, then taking a five minute break before diving into the next daily task.
8. Don’t Multitask
You might say that you’re an excellent multitasker, but as a business owner, this isn’t something you want to get in the habit of doing, especially with productivity and focus in mind.
When you are multitasking, you’re not focusing solely on each single task in mind and this can make the finished product less perfect than it should be.
Take each important task at a time, focus on it, and don’t multitask as you’ll find the end result with the urgent task will be better overall.
9. Know What Your Main Time Wasters Are
It’s important to know what gets you off track when you’re working and avoid it. If you like to check Facebook and other social media platforms throughout the day, don’t do so.
These are huge time wasters when it comes to work. And, if they don’t have anything to do with your business, such as writing posts for business purposes, eliminate these distractions.
Once you identify what the main time waster issues are, you’re better able to eliminate those from your daily habits.
10. Take Personal Time for Yourself
Although as a small business owner you better be prepared to work, and work hard, you need to tend to your personal life, too.
Make sure to take personal time for yourself and not always be on the work clock every hour of every day. You can have a successful business and still take time for yourself.
Time Management Will Help Your Business
When you follow the time management tips listed above in your daily work, you can help your business thrive and be everything you’ve always dreamed it could be, which is essential for successful entrepreneurs.
With the right skills in place and time management tips in motion, you’ll be spending time doing things that will help, not hinder, your business.