Running a small business comes with so many tasks that our to-do list can become overwhelming. Before we know it, procrastination sets in and the bright, shiny objects are calling. How do you deal with the overwhelm? Do you stay on top of the lists and manage your time well or like many of us small business owners do you revert to inefficient crisis management?
If you are leading your own business with or without a team, then you know how quickly the time can fly by just spent keeping on top of things. We have so many distractions, so much to do, and the list is ever growing. So where do we start?
Time Management is the key.
Running your own business requires both management and leadership skills. To improve both skill sets you need to begin with time management. If you can manage your time well, then you will be freed up to look at the strategic leadership of your business.
Each and every day, most leaders and managers, whether small business owners or those who are part of a bigger organisation, face a mountain of tasks that must be dealt with. Prioritising your time and chunking down the tasks into manageable chunks will make a huge difference.
Many leaders must also manage the time of employees and other team players. Small business owners need to manage their own time and the monitoring of offshore staff or suppliers. Having the ability to effectively time manage allows everyone, you included, to be more effective day to day.
The following tips will help you to stay on track:
Plan Each Day
We often lose time in small increments; 10 minutes here, 5 minutes there. By planning your day you can group similar type activities together. You can also arrange daily activities into time slots so that you aren’t constantly interrupted by beeping emails or repeated interruptions.
There is nothing more frustrating than searching for something we need or waiting for someone to meet us. It is also a great time waster that can be easily avoided with a little organisation. Spend a few minutes each morning preparing for your meetings or tasks that day, do you have everything you need? Organise and arrange it so that when the time comes you know you have it all on hand. For upcoming meetings schedule a reminder email or phone call to confirm the time and place.
List and Prioritise
Keep a running list that you put a line through when a task is completed. Anything left on your list goes to the top of your next list. Begin your day reviewing your list along with your diary. Clump similar tasks together and then rate them by urgency and importance.
When you review your list consider which tasks you can delegate or outsource. There are only so many things one person can get done in a day. Removing items from your to-do list will save you a great deal of time that you can focus on the strategic management of your business. Work on not in, as the saying goes.
Time management is a challenge we all face. There is so much to do and so many interruptions. Taking charge of how your time is allocated and spent will give you extra time to enjoy the things about your business that you love.
For further time management tips you can download my FREE 22 Time Management Tips eBook