Time is one of the most invaluable assets a business can have. As a business owner, it is important to utilize your time as efficiently as possible.
Time management ensures your business runs smoothly. It also allows for more growth opportunities for yourself and your business. We’ll touch more on that later.
Commanding your time may not always be easy but integrating a few of these tips into your business operations can help you get on the right track.
Why Time Management is Important
What is time management? Time management is the process of organizing one’s time and planning and dividing it up between activities.
Effective time management can have a lot of benefits that can lead to a more balanced life and successful business.
Because you know where your time goes, this reduces the stress and anxiety of feeling like you don’t have enough time to accomplish what needs to be accomplished. While you can’t avoid some deadlines that can be incredibly last-minute, time management makes you see the tangible progress you’re making.
You can build a more professional reputation when you have more control over your time. With the control comes confidence as to how you can utilize your time for what is important for your business. This confidence translates to clients feeling prioritized, partners seeing your professionalism, and your employees working under a good leader.
Prioritizing also makes it easier to hone in on what your company needs to grow. By doing so, you get to focus on tasks that promote business growth rather than other trivial activities.
Time management makes it easier to track your progress. It then becomes easier to achieve certain goals and objectives because there’s a timeframe in place.
Time Management Tips for Small Business Owners
1. Know your golden time
The first step to taking control of your time is to know your habits. According to Forbes, you can properly manage your time by understanding how you function best and framing your day correspondingly.
Find out when you are the most productive in the day. Look back and see if you can find any patterns to your day where you have pockets of time where you feel the most focused.
These windows of productivity in your day are called your “golden time” and this is when you can focus on your most important tasks. Other tasks that don’t require as much energy can be done outside of your golden time window.
By setting up your tasks this way, you can maximize your energy and spend your time effectively.
2. Have a plan
As much as possible, always have a plan for your day, week, and even month. It does not need to be incredibly specific but it should allow you to have an overview of what tasks need your attention and how much time you can allot for them.
The Covey Time Management Matrix is a tool created by Steven Covey that can help you identify which tasks should be prioritized over the rest.
Write down your list of tasks and on a separate piece of paper, set it up into quadrants. Label one quadrant as “urgent and important,” the other as “not urgent but important,” the third quadrant as “urgent but not important,” and the last as “not urgent and not important.”
Sort your tasks into these four quadrants. You go about accomplishing tasks by focusing on quadrant one first, then moving on to quadrant two, and so on.
This is helpful on a weekly scale but can also be done for your daily tasks to break down your tasks into more manageable chunks.
3. Calendar and task tracker Apps
Pair your plan with a diary or calendar that can help you visualize your time. A calendar is the best way to organize your time. Having a calendar app is also handy because you can easily access it on your phone and computer.
If you’re someone who also enjoys visually seeing the progress you’re making on a goal, productivity tools like task tracker apps are great and can be very motivating.
4. Multitasking is not a superpower
Multitasking does not make you accomplish more tasks at any given time. It’s a myth that has been debunked by multiple studies.
Forcing your brain to switch focus on different tasks, in reality, is less efficient, uses up more time, and can lead to more errors.
Instead, focus on one task at a time. By doing so, you can more easily enter a flow state and you become “in the zone” to accomplish this given task.
5. Delegate tasks
You can free up more space in your day by delegating tasks to your team. Don’t think that just because you’re the boss, doesn’t mean everything has to be on your plate.
One thing about time management is that you know what requires your time and what doesn’t. Then you can assign those tasks that don’t require much of your attention to other people.
It is also best to get to know your team’s strengths and weaknesses.
This way, you can delegate tasks according to their performance, getting the job done as efficiently as possible.
6. Eliminate distractions
Anything that takes your focus away from the task at hand, eliminate it. Know what triggers you to get distracted and try to either get away from it or take it away from your space.
Turn off any electronics that can serve as a distraction, put on some noise-canceling headphones, and get to work.
7. Don’t forget about your health
Rest is essential to staying physically and mentally prepared for your day ahead. You should also prioritize eating a balanced diet and exercising.
While it may seem like you still have a lot of tasks to accomplish, you still have to make time for breaks and proper sleep.
By maintaining your health, you can be in top shape. In turn, you can give your top performance when accomplishing tasks.
Know when to call it a day and spend time to rest and recuperate. If you don’t, your body will decide that for you, and it won’t care about your calendar when it does so.
Time Management for Small Business Owners
As a business owner, it is easy to be overwhelmed by all that needs to be done. But with the proper system that works best for you, you can feel more grounded and stable.