Time is the greatest asset for small business owners. You can get back the money if you happen to lose it. You can get back a business if you lose it. But you can never get back time once you lose it. This is why it is important to be very protective when it comes to time. Below are seven time management tips that will help small business owners.
Starting with time logging
Before doing anything else, it is a good idea to complete time logging for at least a day. Use a spreadsheet or a sheet of paper or an online tool (depends on your preference) then note down everything from when you wake up till you go to bed. Your task will be tracking every single second of your day, listing the amount of time you have spent on every task. You need to track everything (when I say everything, I really mean everything) if you want this to succeed. On the day of time logging, don’t try changing your behaviors. This will help you know what you are measuring in a “typical” day.
Identifying time waster
Once you log your day, you will be able to see where you waste a lot of time. Take the total time you logged then categorize them based on the activities. Convert it into percentages so you can know what percentage each activity is taking. The main goal of doing this is finding areas you spend too much time on. Some of the categories you are most likely going to consider include; Phone calls, Emails, Breaks, Meetings, Errands, and other nonproductive tasks.
Using the Pomodoro technique
This has become a popular time management tool that works by setting a 25-minute timer where you focus on a given task, then take a five-minute break before moving to the next task. There is a variation of this technique that I have 20-minute segments for focusing on specific areas of my business. Time logging is going to allow you to know areas that are taking too little time or too much time. You can then have daily or weekly goals for the pomodoros you are spending on each of the categories. You can limit checking your email to ten pomodoros in a week. Then work on your marketing systems for 30 pomodoros in a week.
Applying the 80/20 rule
The 80/20 rule will help you determine areas you should be spending more time on. This rule says that 80% of results come from 20% of the effort. Your work is going to be effective time management, where you will work on increasing the time you are spending on the 20% that is going to give you the most results for your business (and spending less time on everywhere else). This entire thing is going to be a process, why is why you need to do it consistently every week till you reach a point where you have a clear idea of which areas deliver the most results.
Delegating but not abdicating
Being a successful business owner means having to rely on other people when there is work that needs to be done. When delegating, it is important to avoid ‘abdicating’ – this is where you give the employees tasks and responsibilities before you prepare and train them for that. By using a work schedule planner you will be able to manage tasks effectively and allocate work to the best people for the job. TrackTime24 allows you to create, manage and share schedules promoting efficiency. If you want to make it work, you need to hire the right people or invest time in training your employees.
Avoiding your employees
Once you have trained your employees and are working effectively, then you can start avoiding them as much as possible. If you are not careful, employees can eat up your time. There are some employees who are going to eat up your time by bothering you with constant problems, while the ones considered to be “good” can eat up your time by trying to catch your attention. It is important to hire the right employees and train them well. If possible, have your office away from the main areas close to employees. The job of an employee is very different from that of a business owner.
Being aware of the shiny object syndrome
The shiny object syndrome is something you need to be careful with, you can be easily pulled under. There are shiny objects that will keep coming from time to time trying to distract you from important tasks. New opportunities are great, but you need to make sure they don’t end up being bad.
These tips will go a long way in helping small businesses.