Time management is something every business owner should master. We all have 24 hours in a day, how we chose to spend each hour is entirely up to us. With the right planning, accountability and working behaviours you can make every working minute contribute to the success of your business. Take a look at the following tips to implement good time management practices in to your business.
The only way to know exactly how you spend your time is to record your work activities. Reflect on this at the end of each day. Are all tasks necessary to the success of your business? Can you streamline any activities? Are you spending enough time focusing on your customers? There are many questions you can ask yourself, write them down and ask them every time you review your working activities.
Review your business goals, short-term and long-term. Consider if your daily activities are contributing to achieving these goals or not. If not, you may be wasting time on unnecessary tasks.
At the start of each day plan and prioritise all the tasks you need to complete. Get in the habit of setting a time limit for each task to ensure you finish them all. Be prepared to adapt your plan – we live in a fast-paced business environment and have to be open to change. If you have employees include them in your plan and delegate tasks. Delegation can be a challenging area for a business owner, but it is an important skill to learn for the success of your business.
Do not stretch yourself further than your capabilities. In order to provide a quality service or product you need the time to do so. If you do not have the capacity to take on new projects and provide a quality service then you can say no. Similarly, if a work task is not going in the direction you expected then stop, acknowledge it is not working and take a new approach.
Phone calls, being asked questions, browsing your social media - these are all distractions that take your focus off the work in hand. Think how you can minimise distractions in your workplace and implement them. For example, if your mobile is not essential to your work leave it in a separate room or inform employees if you need time to work without disruption. It may be necessary to revisit this once in a while, if old habits slip back you can get yourself back on to the straight and narrow.
Every second counts when it comes to time management. Time can easily be wasted if you do not stay on top of simple tasks such as filing. Make sure you have an organised electronic or paper-based filing system so you can quickly find what you need (and avoid the panic of thinking you have mislaid a document!).
To efficiently manage your time you need to be at the top of your game. You can only achieve this by keeping yourself healthy in body and mind. When running your own business it can be hard to hit the off switch, remember there is no business without you, so do not feel guilty for making time in your schedule for yourself.
Effective time management requires us to change our working behaviours, as we cannot change the amount of time we have in a day. It is an ongoing process that must be invested in and regularly reviewed for the long-term success of your business.
If you have any questions about setting up an effective time management plan, get in touch!
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