One of the biggest challenges that face all business owners is the ability to manage time. There are only so many hours of the day, and for most business owners, it often won’t seem like enough. Learning how to manage the time you have is important not just for keeping on top of business matters and staying organized, but also to ensure that you have some time to spend on your personal life as well. The following are a few time management techniques that you should consider implementing as a business owner:
- Begin logging the time you spend on tasks – Spend a whole day logging the time of everything you do. Do this for a couple of days. This will give you a good idea of not only how long certain tasks take (thereby making it easier to plan for those tasks in advance), but will also let you see where you are spending time inefficiently or are even wasting time. This can help you learn how to use your time more effectively.
- Begin using the Pomodoro technique – This technique involves setting a timer for certain tasks and then taking a short break following the completion of that time. For example, if you have a stack of paperwork you have to go over, set the timer for 25 minutes. Work straight through, then once the time is up, take a five-minute break. Then repeat. These breaks help prevent you from getting burned out.
- Delegate simple tasks – Don’t try to do everything yourself. Smaller, less important tasks should be delegated to others working for you. However, be careful not to abdicate your responsibilities. You should also make sure your employees can handle the tasks you give them.
- Don’t get distracted by emails – Emails can become extremely distracting. Learn to check them in the beginning and end of your day, only spot checking at specific times to make sure you don’t receive anything extremely important or time sensitive. Set a specific time period aside per day, such as in the morning, to sort through everything.
- Don’t take too many meetings – As the owner of a business, you may be tempted to hold daily meetings with various people working for you. However, many meetings end up being unnecessary and eat into everyone’s time. If a meeting isn’t extremely important, consider sending out a memo instead.
- Stay organized – Trying to locate documents or missing out on meetings because you are disorganized can cause a huge waste of time. Learn to stay organized so that you can complete your tasks efficiently and on time without any delays. Consider writing up a checklist at the beginning of the day that outlines the tasks you need to get done from most important to least important.
- Isolate yourself – One of the drawbacks of being the boss is that your employees will come to you for information, advice or for approval on even the smallest of tasks. If your office is away from everyone else and you’re less physically accessible, then your employees will be less likely to bother you unless it’s for a matter that’s actually important. If you work in the middle of all of your employees, they are likely to bother you all day long, making it difficult to get any work done yourself.
Consider using these tips to help manage your time more efficiently as a business owner. For additional business advice, or for information about our small business services (from bookkeeping to tax planning), be sure to contact us at Valezar & Associates today.