Part and parcel of being a small business owner is that we wear many hats. From CEO to Marketing Manager to the IT guy, we are constantly swapping between roles and juggling priorities. We are the ultimate multi-taskers!
Yet that is not always a great thing. What can end up happening is that we bounce reactively between tasks, and feeling as though we have NOT got anything done. If we had a dollar for every time we asked ourselves, ‘where on earth did the day go?!’...
We understand how important good time management is to the success of a business. So we’ve compiled our top tips on how to structure your time effectively, so that you can get ahead of the game!
Set Achievable Goals
Whether it’s increasing your year-on-year revenue or updating your business card, setting specific goals is a sure-fire way to help identify priorities and get a plan in place. Put aside an hour and write down exactly what you wish to achieve in the short, mid and long term future. In fact, we find that categorising goals into daily, weekly, monthly and yearly time frames is really helpful. Oh, and by the way, your goals don’t ALL need to be business-related...perhaps you’ve always wanted a dusky pink desk chair to match your office decor - write that one down too! Consider investing in a whiteboard that you can write your goals directly on. Hang it somewhere in your office space in your line of sight, so your goals remain front of mind.
Make a Schedule.. and stick to it!
When you are running your own business, it can be all too easy to run from pillar to post without any real structure to your day. Whilst this approach can allow you to squeeze in that last-minute sales pitch or say yes to an ad-hoc project, it doesn’t make for overall effective time management - nor does it help the stress levels! Relieve the pressure by arranging your day and/or week based on your current priorities. Whether you use a calendar, a bullet-point system or hourly breakdown, ensure that your system works for you. We find setting our weekly schedule on a Monday morning is very effective. Also, be sure to block out some ‘free time’ for any surprise duties that crop up. If none do, take it as a well-earned coffee break!
Delegate, Delegate, Delegate
This can be a challenging one, especially when you are used to doing everything yourself! If you are finding yourself constantly time-poor due to taking on too many tasks, it may be time to hire an assistant, or a specialist in a particular business area. Or, if you already have a team working for you, take a moment to look at their workloads and figure out which tasks they can take off your hands, so you can have more time in yours!
Pencil in Me-Time
This is a MUST! Did you know that taking regular breaks can result in higher productivity and help avoid burn-out? It is crucial that you block out dedicated ‘me-time’ away from the office or computer. That can be anything from going for a brisk walk, enjoying a delicious lunch or fitting in a yoga class during the day. Or you could even schedule time to arrange that seaside weekend away or going on that sunny vacation (once restrictions have been lifted). Taking time out for yourself is super important to your physical and mental well-being and, ultimately the success of your business.