There aren’t enough hours in the day! How often do you find yourself saying that? The chances are, if you’re a small business owner or entrepreneur, you say it a lot. But why is that? Nobody said that starting a business would be easy, and starting one from scratch is even harder.
However, it’s likely you started your own business to give you a greater work/life balance and to create and enjoy time with your family.
But, at least to start with, it may seem like you’ve bitten off more than you can chew. This is because one of the biggest problems faced by fledgling business owners is that of time management.
Don’t fret though; there is hope on the horizon…
It can be all too easy to try and do everything yourself; especially when you want to ensure that tasks get done thoroughly, efficiently and punctually. This, however, takes us back to the beginning of our post and is the reason you find yourself saying those seven words so often.
Let’s have a look at five easy ways you can manage your time more efficiently:
1. Plan every day
It might sound simple, but planning your days really will help you manage your time more efficiently. Set aside just 20 minutes each morning and decide exactly what you want to achieve that day. Don’t start any tasks or even open your emails until you have planned your day.
This process doesn’t need to be super detailed and its main purpose is to help you schedule your time.
Starting your day without a plan in place will inevitably see you jumping from one task to the next and losing focus of which tasks are more important than others.
2. Make a list
This handy tip follows on directly from our first point and will allow you to prioritise your jobs more efficiently. It seems obvious right? But actually, a list will ensure that you don’t miss any tasks and it will often serve as a great reminder of how busy your days are.
Unfortunately, neglecting some small tasks can be costly. This is why a list will help you keep track of everything. Look at your list and ask yourself, do I need to be doing all of these jobs myself? We’ll come back to this point a little later.
3. Stay focussed
Even if you’ve planned your day and prioritised your tasks you’ll need to stay focussed. Otherwise all of your work will be for nothing and you’ll go back to your old, disorganised ways.
Sounds easy, but you need to train yourself to be strict with your plan and your list of tasks. Obviously, if urgent matters arise that need your attention then give them your attention but do not allow yourself to get side-tracked by menial jobs; especially ones that other people can do.
4. Utilise technology
Our modern world affords a huge number of benefits to business owners, particularly in terms of technology and gadgets. Don’t fear new innovations, embrace them! They will ultimately make your life easier.
You’ve probably got a smartphone, but there is a strong possibility that you’re not using it to its full potential. Get it configured to receive/send your business emails, display your calendar and notify you of important reminders. You’ll feel like you’ve got full office access right in the palm of your hand.
5. Delegate and outsource
Try to ensure that you are only focussing on the jobs that add real value to your business and ultimately improve its profitability. This means that you will need to learn to delegate tasks where appropriate.
The mundane day-to-day work can often be completed by one of your employees and doesn’t require your precious time to be taken care of.
Delegating tasks will also give your staff a sense of responsibility and a motivational boost. This is great for your business and for your time management. Learn who is good at what and give advice where needed. A little bit of time spent on guidance will go a long way in the end.
Technological advances have also opened up a vast amount of opportunities in terms of recruitment. For example, virtual assistants can be a massive asset when it comes to time management and can often carry out the necessary, yet mundane, tasks for you. By their very nature their overhead costs are low and you can employ them on a short-term basis. All of which benefits to your business.
So, that’s just five simple ways to help manage your time better and enable you to start focussing on the really important aspects of your business.