Are you a small business owner who feels like you’re always keeping your head just above water? Owners such as yourself might not have the resources of bigger, more established enterprises, meaning you are responsible for a larger spread of different aspects of your company.
One way to help lessen some of the pressure you’re feeling is to have effective time management skills that can give you a chance to take a breath every now and then. Here are seven great time management strategies that can help keep you sane.
1. Lessen your IT load
Being a small business owner forces you to be a jack of all trades, which in turn forces you to spend valuable time dealing with many of the different facets of business. One such facet is all the technology required to run a profitable enterprise. Trying to put too much on your plate when it comes to managing data and infrastructure can stress you out and put your company at risk. Instead, consider managed IT services that let experts take control of the technological aspects of your company so you don’t have to.
2. Do some delegating
Being able to delegate tasks is one of the most important characteristics of any great leader. This has a variety of positive impacts, including increased engagement and effort from team members. In addition to benefitting your company’s overall level of production, it will also shift some tasks off your to-do list. Time management is all about efficiency. Utilise your workers’ abilities to lessen your stress levels.
3. Manage to avoid micromanaging
This ties into your ability to delegate tasks to other members of your team. If you worry about trying to do everybody’s job for them, you’ll run yourself into the ground. Micromanaging is a wasteful practice that can harm the confidence of your team members. There will be times where you’ll have to jump in to correct somebody, and you might need to be more involved when new team members start. But once they’re off, just let them soar. You’ll have plenty of other things to worry about anyway.
4. Love lists
One of the most effective time management strategies is using lists. It seems crazy that such a simple tool could be so powerful, but it’s true. Creating lists for yourself and others can help you and your team immensely. It keeps you from wasting time due to being disorganised and also paints a picture of what needs to be done. By having a more complete view of tasks, you know just how thin you can spread yourself.
5. Keep an eye on the clock
There are several time management tips that revolve around being conscious of the clock. Tracking how long tasks take can help you determine where you might need to look into time-heavy processes. The Pomodoro Technique is another great clock-related time management tool. The concept calls for setting a timer for an amount of time (perhaps 20-25 minutes) before taking a break for 5-10 minutes. This keeps your brain fresh throughout the day while also helping you map out your time better because it is broken up into manageable chunks.
6. Plan for the worst
As a small business owner, you know that things often don’t go according to plan. That’s why you need to be prepared for interruptions if you want to succeed when it comes to time management. Know that you’re going to have to deal with unforeseen issues more than you’d like. Since you can’t really plan for them, the best thing you can do is be proactive and take these problems into account when planning out your day.
7. Save you from yourself
If you spend a lot of time at your computer, you know that time sucks such as Twitter and Facebook or even your email are just a click away. Such communication tools can be important for a variety of reasons. They are great for clearing your head between tasks (see: Pomodoro Technique), and they are also excellent tools for promoting your business. However, you don’t need to have them at your fingertips at all times. Look into software that can disable such sites when you need to, or create a working profile on your computer that only has programs that are essential for taking care of business.
It is hard to understate the importance of time management. Strong time management skills can do wonders for your personal health and that of your business. Try employing some of the above tips in your everyday working life and see how they work for you.