Time management: it sounds easy enough. However, when you own or manage a small business, it’s too easy to get pulled from one crisis to the next and lose sight of all of the things you wanted to accomplish during the day.
Ways to get more out of your day
Good time management is a skill, just like sales or being able to creative effective marketing plans. To improve your time management skills, consider the following points:
- Set deadlines. Too often we say that we’ll tackle this project or that one when we have a free minute, but does that time ever really come? Rather than schedule a project for that elusive free moment, give every project a deadline. That way nothing will end up at the bottom of the pile.
- Delegate. There’s no rule that says the boss has to do everything herself. In fact, one of the most important skills of a good manager is the ability to hand off key projects to subordinates rather than feeling that you have to be “hands on” in every aspect of the business.
- Turn off distractions. Emails, Facebook, iPads and the like are fascinating and useful ways to communicate. They can also consume a huge slice of your day, if you aren’t careful. Better to designate specific times of the day to check your email messages and limit Facebook time to a set period, like 15 or 20 minutes.
- Break your projects up into more manageable tasks. That huge, complicated project that you’ve been putting off and putting off will look a lot more manageable if you divide it up into smaller chunks, each with its own deadline. Before you know it, you’ll be more than half-way to completing the task.
- Prioritise. It’s tempting to do all of the easy tasks on your list first, so you can cross more things off. However, a more efficient way is to rank your day’s (or week’s) tasks in order of importance. By doing the most important things first, you won’t end up feeling so stressed at the end of the day.