Running a small business is difficult. Juggling back and forth between administration, managing employees, marketing, prospecting, taking care of customers, managing your website, and countless other activities, 61% of business owners surveyed in statista’s latest report told us they’re in a constant race against the clock, 49% said that work-life balance is a fantasy, and 86% said that time management is critical to success. Are you a professional who thinks the idea of a 40-hour workweek is ridiculous? Here are 8 time management tips you must know before starting a business. Try these time management tips and “try” to make the week more productive.
1.Make a schedule and stick to it
Taking the time to plan your schedule can dramatically increase your motivation. When you don’t have a plan, you may find it difficult to know what to do next, how long it will take, and what is most important. Everyone has different levels of productivity and energy. The trick to tackling the most important tasks is to take advantage of the most motivating parts of the day.
Dan Ariely, a professor of psychology and behavioral economics at Duke University, has found that for most of the workforce, the most productive time period occurs within the first two hours of the workday. It’s recommended to utilize this time for highly cognitive tasks, such as strategically planning your day or completing creative projects.
If you know you have a hard time concentrating in the late afternoon, save that time for tasks that require less brain power. Try answering emails instead of scheduling end-of-day meetings or dealing with important deadlines.
2.Don’t multitask at the same time
News flash: multitasking is a myth. Again, multitasking is a myth.
Yes, you read that right. Your brain can only handle one thing at a time. So if you try to do more than one thing, you’ll just end up constantly diverting your attention and spending more time on both tasks.
The solution? Focus your attention on one task at a time. Once completed, you can move on to the next thing. Try it and see how productive and enjoyable it is.
3.Prioritize your tasks
President Dwight D. Eisenhower famously said, “Important things are seldom urgent, and urgent things are seldom important.” Related to Eisenhower’s maxim is the 80/20 rule: 80% of results come from 20% of effort.
In a nutshell, the point of these ideas is to determine what really matters and what is critical to focus on only. Spend most of your time on the critical 20% (what Eisenhower called important) and less on the rest (even if it does seem urgent).
Not everything needs the same attention, and too many to-do lists can lead to task paralysis. By keeping your priority list short, you’ll automatically sharpen your focus. For more than 72% of small business owners, this focus is largely dependent on developing high-level strategies that will help grow their business.
4. Delegate tasks
“You won’t be able to manage your time effectively during busy periods if you try to get it all done,” says Jennifer Chong of Feioi. “It’s worth it to delegate tasks you don’t like or aren’t good at to professionals who are better and faster than you.
As a small business owner, you have to wear many hats, and you may think you don’t have the resources to let others share the workload, when in fact it could be a false economy. Identify those tasks you’re not good at and see if there’s a way to hand them off to a professional.
5.Try the “tomato method”.
Developed by Francesco Cirillo in the late ’80s and named after the tomato-shaped kitchen timer he used as a student (“Pomodoro” means tomato in Italian), tomato work involves setting a timer for 25 minutes and then focusing on one task until the alarm goes off. until the alarm goes off. Then, you take a 5-minute break and spend another 25 minutes on the next task. The Tomato Method is useful if you have trouble concentrating, organizing your time, or if you want to make sure you devote a certain amount of time to a task (e.g., 5 Tomato Clocks per week for marketing).
6.Automate, automate, automate
While technology can sometimes make the modern business owner busier than ever, it also offers many opportunities to simplify and make things easier. The number of available apps, programs, and online services is nearly limitless, and there are at least as many ways to have a computer handle difficult, time-consuming tasks for you.
Take billing and accounts receivable, for example. Sure, it’s one of the most important tasks on any business schedule, but it’s also tedious and difficult to accomplish quickly. By using an automated billing tool, you can free up your time to do other things like marketing, strategizing, product development, and maybe even go on vacation.
Have you ever found yourself digging through business cards to find the one you want? Or logging in and out of multiple apps to get the information you need about a client? Or scrolling through endless email lists to search for the email you’re looking for? All of this takes time, and when you add it up over days or weeks, it adds up. The rewards of organization lie not only in inner peace, but in the actual moments of your life.
Luckily, with the help of a few apps & work habits you can streamline almost every repetitive, headache-inducing task you can think of. Examples include Evernote, IFTTT, LastPass, Dropbox, Google Drive and Google Docs to name a few but that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
8.Take a break
You may be asking yourself how can you get a break when there are a million things to do? I hear you and I know how easy it is to let your business take over your entire life. Yes, you need to work hard, but you also need to take care of yourself.
Being bombarded with endless tasks and constantly thinking about what to do next is natural, especially as a business owner. But the key to being productive is striking a balance between work and rest. Not to mention, creativity can’t flourish if you’re always thinking about what you need to accomplish next. Make sure you and your employees take regular breaks and spend some time away from your desk to recharge. Whether it’s a cup of coffee at your favorite cafe, a walk in the park or a book, set aside some time each day to do something that refreshes you.
Time management is not a skill that can be mastered overnight, and the way you use it will change as your business grows and your workload changes. Take it step-by-step: find habits that match what you do and practice them one at a time until they become second nature to you. Once you’ve incorporated these habits into your daily routine, make note of how they help you get more done in less time.This is even more applicable for new small business owners.