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Good time management is essential

With only 24 hours in a single day, it can often feel like time is your greatest enemy when it comes to running a business and shooting for success. Most people just don’t realize how little time there is in a single day, and before you know it, the sun will have gone down and you’ll feel like you didn’t manage to get anything productive done in the day.

As such, it’s important to manage your time correctly if you want to be a successful small business, so here are 10 time management tips for small business owners.

Not sure how to improve your time management? Here 10 good suggestions.

 

1) Avoid multitasking and focus on completing single tasks quickly

A big time-saving tip that was popular in the past was multitasking, the idea of completing several tasks at once in order to save time. Sadly, that strategy proved inefficient for a number of different reasons:

  • It causes mental fatigue more quickly
  • You finish each task at a slower pace
  • You take longer on each task, resulting in an increased chance of being distracted
  • It takes far more focus than a single task

Trying to do two or more important tasks at the same time will just tire you out incredibly quickly and make you less productive overall.

2) Don’t micromanage your employees and instead, delegate tasks to them

Running a small business is all about how you can make the best use of your employees. Far too many business owners operate under the assumption that they need to keep an eye on every employee so that they can monitor their performance and offer advice when needed. Sadly, this is the complete opposite of what makes a productive business. Instead, you should actually make use of the employees that they’re paying and delegate tasks to them to ensure that they’re helping your business grow and taking some of the stress off your mind.

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3) Identify what makes you waste time during your work days

In order to cut down on wasting time and manage it properly, it’s vital that you find out why you’re wasting time in the first place. A good way to do this is to log what you do each day, such as sitting down for a minute or two to write down a list of what you did in the past hour. Once you create this list, it’s possible to see how you use your time and find ways to be more efficient and waste less time.

4) Remove all the distractions from your working areas

If you’re constantly looking at your phone, playing around with various trinkets on your desk or even looking at videos and reading social media instead of working, then it’s vital that you remove those distractions in order to be more productive. While keeping your phone on your desk is important, it’s vital to remove any kind of social media apps that could distract you.

5) Rest and relaxation time are necessary in a busy schedule

Spending some time to rest and relax might seem counterintuitive if you want to be more productive, but everyone needs a bit of time to relax their mind. Including breaks in a productive day is a fantastic way to ensure that you’re able to let off some steam and release a bit of energy to help you settle back into your work.

Breaks are also essential to let you catch up on things outside of your work life such as returning calls from your family and friends, catching up with them on social media or even going out to stretch your legs and grab a bite to eat.

6) Keep your work area organized to eliminate wasted time

An organized desk will help you find things more quickly and reduce the chance of you wasting time looking for something like a certain file, stationery or even computer components and accessories. Keeping things organized on your desk doesn’t take a long time and it helps to spend a day cleaning up your entire office if it’s currently in a bad state.

7) Implement the 80/20 rule into your work day

The 80/20 rule states that 80% of our working output comes from 20% of the effort we put in. this essentially means a large majority of the productivity in your workplace comes from just 20% of the time and resources that you invest. What this means in business terms is that around 80% of your time is actually wasted and contributes only to 20% of the productivity in your workplace.

This isn’t a hard and fast rule but it’s used to illustrate the concept of evaluating your work day to make the most of the 20% that you put in by identifying time wasters, learning to turn down unproductive tasks and imparting that mentality to your employees.

8) Prioritize short bursts of intense activity over long marathons

And to follow from the previous tip, make sure you split up your day into small manageable tasks and work in bursts of intense activity versus trying to run a marathon by working several hours in a row. A great way to split up your time is to apply the Pomodoro technique, a time management strategy that involves 25 minutes of focus followed by 5 minutes to take a break. There are variations to this, but it generally involves setting your own time segments to fit your workflow so you can incorporate breaks in between periods of focused work.

9) Use software and hardware tools to automate as much as possible

Automation is important in any modern business, so search for software and hardware tools to help you automate repetitive tasks such as sending out batches of emails or calculating business expenses in order to save more time.

10) Improvise less and stick to a schedule to be more productive

Improvisation is often seen as a critical skill in most industries, but the reality is that failing to follow a set plan will ultimately make you waste time on tasks that could otherwise be planned ahead for. Make sure you write up and stick to a schedule as best as you can to ensure that you’re staying productive and not sitting around wondering what you should do next.