Are you looking for how to organize your time and get more done as a business owner? Time management is one of the best steps an entrepreneur can take to boost productivity. You can manage time by structuring your day, setting aside hours for work and rest, sticking to the plan, identifying time wasters, and delegating mundane tasks. This will help you free up time and get more done while affording you time to rest and live.
Here are the best time management tips to help you get more done without feeling overwhelmed daily:
1. Stick to a schedule
One of the worst things you can do as a business owner is to start your day without a predetermined set of goals. In that case, you would have to attend to whatever tasks come your way. Then, when a more relevant or core task arrives, you may realize you’ve exhausted yourself and wasted time on trivialities. Then you wouldn’t have the energy to be very productive on the most important thing. In essence, disorganization leads to wasted time and effort.
Time management starts with planning out each day before it begins. The morning could be for cold calling, while afternoons are for emails or meetings. Knowing what comes after will help you stay organized and productive with your time.
2. Identify time wasters
Let’s face it; there are things currently wasting your time. It could be social media, answering emails, or responding to clients. These things aren’t bad, but they may interfere with how much time you have left for what’s important. Keeping a diary can help you identify and eliminate those things.
Perhaps if you’re spending more time than is necessary answering emails, set a time for it and stick to it. And if social media messages keep popping up and distracting you, use a blocker or switch on DND.
3. Set aside time for rest
Small business owners believe they must put in the extra hours to succeed. While that is great, you won’t get anywhere if you mentally and physically exhaust yourself consistently. You’ll get less productive the longer you work, and that’s no good.
Listen to your body and allow yourself time to rest and recuperate mentally. For example, if you work for about an hour, get 15-20 minutes of rest for maximum productivity. Prioritizing rest is a time management tip many entrepreneurs fail to ignore.
4. Delegate when necessary
As an entrepreneur, you have to understand that you can’t do it all alone. Hire people you can trust to shoulder some of the burden, especially tasks you shouldn’t be doing, such as social media marketing and phone answering. If your budget is tight, consider using virtual assistant services rather than hiring full-time staff. A virtual assistant can remotely take care of those time-consuming tasks so you can rest or focus on your core capabilities.
5. Work within your most productive hours
Are you an early riser or a night owl? Everyone has a time when they’re most productive, and identifying yours can help you do more in less time. Focusing is easier then, and everything just comes to you, especially when your work is mentally demanding.
Time management is all about structuring your day and working to your strengths.
6. Stop multitasking
While many people consider multitasking a great time management tip, it is the opposite. Your brain can only focus on one thing at a time. So when you multitask, you switch your focus from one task to the other. Unfortunately, when you switch, your brain needs time to adjust, so you typically take up even more time to complete both tasks.
Focusing on one task at a time will help you finish quicker and more productively.
7. Try the Covey Time Management Matrix
The Covey Time Management Matrix is a system of prioritizing tasks in order of relevance and urgency. It was created by Steven Covey, author of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.
The Covey Time Management Matrix prioritizes tasks as follows:
- Urgent and important tasks
- Not urgent but important tasks
- Urgent but not important tasks
- Not urgent and not important tasks
Sort all your weekly tasks into the four quadrants and attend to those at the top first, then the second, and so on.
The bottom line
Of course, managing a business in the 21st century is a lot of work. You probably have little to no time to truly live—to enjoy the dividends of owning a business, especially when you’re a small startup. Time management is a great solution until you can afford to pay hundreds of employees to do the heavy lifting for you.
So structure your day, delegate when necessary, eliminate time-wasters, and work within your most productive hours. Ensure you have enough time to rest and enjoy the benefits of being your own boss.