Time Management...what's that?!
Us business owners are all the same, we've never got enough hours in the day to get done what needs to be done!
But one topic I always get asked about on social media is time management.
What do I mean when I say time management? For most of us it’s a foreign word (myself included sometimes!)
The dictionary definition of time management is:
(noun) the ability to use one's time effectively or productively, especially at work. "time management is the key to efficient working"
However, what it means to most of is working out how to juggle a business, family life, home life, friendships and just generally being sociable!
But don’t worry, I’ve got you…
Here’s my top 5 ways to manage your time as a business owner (and general human!)
1. Plan your week ahead
Creating a schedule for your week allows you to plan ahead and structure your time so that you can prioritise and re-prioritise tasks. Deadlines and urgent jobs should define how you organise tasks across your week. For example, if you’ve got a deadline of Wednesday for a certain task, use small blocks of time leading up to that to get that work done, and leave non-urgent but important tasks like admin and meetings for the days following that. But, remember, be flexible and ready to reorganise your schedule if priorities suddenly change, too.
2. Time Blocking
Time blocking is a time management technique that many small business owners find useful. It’s the practice of chunking out your work into small sections of time. The idea is that by focusing on one thing at a time, you can dedicate attention and energy to each task and get it done more quickly and to a higher standard.
To time-block your day, you need to plan out the hours you have available and then start assigning items from your to do list. There are a number of techniques you can do to stick to your time blocking, for example you could use an app to help you keep track of times spent, you could use the Pomodoro technique or a do manual with a diary and alarm.
Also, listen to your body, if you know you’re more sleepy after lunch (aren’t we all), then do your big tasks in the morning and get them out of the way!
3. Treat yourself to regular breaks
Good productivity requires rest as well as hard work. Charles Darwin, for example, required an afternoon nap and took leisurely walks outdoors during a work day. It proved an effective time management technique!
According to the UK Government’s Health and Safety Executive you should be taking a screen break of five or ten minutes every hour. Little and often is the best way to take breaks, as this will help you feel more refreshed.
4. Don’t multitask
Multitasking might seem like a smart way to save time by cramming as many tasks as possible into a short amount of time, but it’s likely doing more harm than good. Focusing on one task at a time increases productivity and performance. Plus, when you’re multi tasking, you’re more likely to make mistakes, and correcting those mistakes will only take more time! (see where I’m going with this?)
So take your time!
5. Don’t be afraid to outsource or automate
Whilst you may feel like you have to do everything in your business, you don’t. Outsourcing can be a great way to save time by handing over some of your more time consuming tasks. Outsourcing gives you time to focus on the tasks you’re best at and the ones that mean the most to you.
It’s also worth tightening up your automation processes where you can, for example, could you set up an auto responder on your business messenger or email? Can you automate your invoices?
It might be time to make a note of all your daily, weekly & monthly tasks you do for your business and think about which you could automate easily or outsource. To add to this, you could also write down the amount of time each tasks takes, so when you do eventually outsource or automate, you’ll be able to see straight away how much time you’re saving!
If you’re ready to start outsourcing some of your business tasks, drop me a get in touch and lets discuss how I can help make your working life easier!