Time Management Skills For Business Owners
When you’re running a business there’s one thing that you never have enough of – time. Improving your time management skills will have a significant impact on your productivity, your work life balance and the performance of your business.
Successful people have effective time management strategies to help them achieve their goals. Here is a list of 10 time management techniques that will help you to get the most from your day.
- Take time to plan every day. Half an hour sitting planning your day is time well spent. Have a clear idea of what you want to achieve not just by the end of each day, but also an objective for each call you make. This will help you to stay on track and to focus and motivate you throughout the day.
- When you plan your day make sure you batch similar tasks together. For example, check your emails and respond to them at certain times throughout the day and deal with them all at once. Don’t respond to emails and calls when they come in. Plan your day to deal with them all together. You will rattle through tasks a lot quicker as you are in the mindset for fulfilling that particular task and won’t need to flit between activities.
- Have a default diary. Every week you should have a diary of dealing with certain tasks at particular times. This can always be referred to when planning out your day and ensures that no tasks throughout the week or month get missed. If planned correctly this also means that if tasks are in your diary you can forget about them until they come up in your diary freeing up your mind to concentrate on the matter in hand.
- Use the Pomodoro Technique. If you’re not familiar with it, the Pomodoro technique is a technique whereby you set a timer for a certain period of time, say 25 minutes and in that amount of time you do nothing but concentrate on the task in hand and do not accept any interruptions. At the end of the allotted time you can have a short break for say 5 minutes where you could grab a drink, a healthy snack or maybe check your social media, and then get back in to the next batch of time. There are a number of free online timers that you can use to help with this.
- Always tackle the most important task of the day first. There is a finite amount of decisions anyone can make in one day, so as the day wears on it becomes increasingly more tiring and therefore harder to make decisions. Fulfilling your most important tasks of the day first will not only sure you are performing at your best when you carry out those tasks, but also that when you have completed the most important task of the day this will boost you confidence for the rest of the day.
- Don’t multitask. Multitasking simply means that you are not giving your full attention to any one task. In reality people who multi task don’t perform either task as well and take longer to do it. Focus on one task and see it through to completion before moving on to the next task.
- Always work to goals. Have clear goals for where you are going, both in the long and short term, which will be broken down to specific goals for each individual day. There should not be anything on your list at all which is not in some way goal related.
- Reduce meetings. Make sure that you are not participating in any meetings that are unnecessary as they are extremely time consuming, both in terms of the meeting itself and travel time. If a half hour telephone conversation could achieve what you would achieve in an hour long meeting which you needed to travel half an hour each way to attend then it’s a no brainer. If your meeting is essential then go with a clear plan of the objectives you need to achieve, keep it precise and ensure you stick to your time plan.
- It’s common for entrepreneurs to want to do everything themselves, but the sooner you realise that it’s simply more efficient to get someone else to do it the better and the quicker you can get on with driving your businesss forward and delegating or outsourcing all the non-core areas of your business. You will soon see the difference in the amount you are actually achieving as well as the liberating feeling of being able to concentrate on what you are good at any what you enjoy while others deal with everything else.
- Wherever you can automate. Have automated emails prepared for handling particular enquiries, automate your invoicing, your social media and plenty of other things besides. It may take you a little while to set up automating your tasks but once they are set up you will reap the rewards. It is the fastest, most efficient and cheapest way to get anything done. (Read an example here of a client who is using automation to speed up his enquiry process).
I hope that these time management tips have proved useful to you. Implementing even some, if not all of these will make a huge difference to your productivity.
Do you have any further tips to share on how to be more productive or to improve your time management skills? If so we would love to hear so please do feel free to comment and as always if you know anyone who you feel would benefit from this then please do feel free to share with them or on social media.