Picture this: You’re a business owner and time is your most valuable asset. So many responsibilities leave you feeling overwhelmed and inadequate. It’s clear you need a change! But you’re not sure how to approach business time management and are afraid to loosen your grip on the reins.
Sound familiar? Regardless of your business niche, all business owners face the challenge of time management at some point or another. But don’t worry! Even if it seems hopeless, there are many ways to better manage your workload and gain control of your schedule.
Why Is Business Time Management So Important for Business Owners?
Without business time management, it can feel like you’re drowning more often than swimming forward. You need balance (within your role and between your work and life) in order to gain momentum and effectively grow your business.
Take a closer look at these three reasons why business time management is necessary for all business owners.
Managing Your Time Improves Your Work Quality
Have you ever tried to tackle a huge work project while you were exhausted? (We all have.) It takes you twice as long (if not, longer) to complete tasks when you’re tired, stressed, or overextended. And you get even more tired and frustrated with each passing minute—like sinking in quicksand!
Business time management ensures this happens less often. You’re able to work with more focus and efficiency when you shuffle around your task list and rearrange your priorities in a way that makes sense.
You’ll Become More Productive and Efficient
Speaking of efficiency… Business time management and efficiency go hand in hand. What if someone told you that you could get the same amount of work done in half the time, and more, just by implementing business time management strategies? (It’s me! I’m telling you it can get it all done faster!)
It might be hard to believe, but taking a closer look at the way you do things and allowing for a different approach may improve your productivity. And that’s not to say your current way of doing things isn’t right—you’ve come a long way doing things your way. But change is part of your amazing growth process.
Business Time Management Reduces Your Stress Levels
As a business owner, you might not even recognize the amount of stress you’re under. You have to consider deadlines, correspondence, your team’s wellness, finances, branding… the list goes on and on. And that’s not to mention stressors from your personal life! It will all wear you thin if you don’t address it now.
Using business time management strategies will afford you more time to decompress at the end of each day. You’ll feel more in control of your workload, and familiar feelings of worry or regret before bed will gradually subside.
7 Business Time Management Tips so You Can Prioritize Your Time Wisely
Okay, the perks of business time management sound enticing. But how do you incorporate it?
Look no further for the strategies you desperately need! Here are seven surefire business time management tips you can try out…as soon as you get a chance. (Get it?)
You think that tackling multiple tasks at once is saving you time. It isn’t! Multitasking does nothing but divide your attention and compromise the quality of your work.
When the state of your work is affected, you have to revisit and repair it (which eats up even more precious minutes). Instead, approach one thing at a time. You can give each task your entire focus to ensure it’s complete and well done before you move on.
This way you can actually check boxes as you move through your day! It’s way more satisfying than starting a bunch of tasks, forgetting your place, and doubling back for revisions.
Determine Your Biggest Revenue Generators to Focus On
You might have a good sense of where your time goes, but you have to check your data to be sure! Your data will shed light on where your revenue comes from, versus where your time is spent. What you notice may surprise you.
If energy and effort are misaligned, you need to do some juggling. The goal is to get adequate return on investment (ROI) for all of your marketing, advertising, and client preservation efforts.
For example, if you spend $5,000 to record and share a social media ad, you want a substantial return with new client registrations and online interest.
Group Similar Tasks Together
Grouping tasks together is often called “bucketing” your business. It can seriously help you focus when you pool all of your similar responsibilities together before moving on to another.
There are many repetitive tasks you can group together to save time:
- Respond to new client inquiries
- Provide estimates
- Deal with payroll
- Analyze data
- Answer emails
- Edit documents
- Work on upcoming marketing campaigns
Really, whatever you do daily should be assigned to a particular bucket of time. It varies depending on your niche! You’ll be better able to switch gears from one type of thinking to the next when you organize in this way.
Related: 3 Common Misconceptions About Productivity You Need To Address Now
Delegate Whenever Possible
If you like to be in control, delegation is a difficult (though necessary) step to take in business time management. Your business is growing—hooray! So you can’t possibly do it all on your own like you used to.
Each person on your team has a unique set of skills. Take the time to unpack them and use them accordingly. The best part of delegating is freeing yourself up for the things you like to do the most. Whether it be getting creative on the next campaign or crunching numbers for your next meeting, get back to your favorite parts of the biz by allowing others to help.
Track Your Time and Analyze Time Reports
Get into the routine of tracking your working hours. Use an app or note the time you start and end work for each client (or each assignment). Business time management depends on your knowledge of the time you’re spending—so keeping track is a must!
Use your time reports to uncover where you spend the most time. Ask yourself: are those minutes truly necessary? Odds are, you can seriously cut back time behind the computer screen by leveraging templates, software, or simply dawdling less! Remember, focus will come more easily as you make necessary adjustments to your routine.
Plan Out Your Days and Weeks
It might not come naturally to you, but plan your time well in advance. You should rarely (really, never) show up to work with gaps in your schedule. Every minute counts!
Your days can look mostly similar. For example, use 9:00 A.M. to 10:00 A.M. for data analysis and goal-tracking, and 10:00 A.M. to 12:00 P.M. for marketing and strategizing. Maybe 1:00 P.M. to 3:00 P.M. is reserved for meetings or specific projects and 3:00 P.M. to 4:00 P.M. is for answering emails.
The fine details will vary depending on what you have going on. But the basic framework (whatever works for you depending on your focus cycle and preferences) should remain constant.
Automate Wherever You Can
Automation is a game changer for many business owners—and the single best thing to ever happen to business time management. Why waste your time and energy doing repetitive tasks, or asking a team member to do them, when automation can handle it?
Automated technology is often cheaper, faster, and more precise than any human on your team. There are automation apps and software options to help maintain your calendar, answer emails, pay your bills, handle payroll, and more. But don’t worry about losing your personal touch! Automation only does what you tell it to—and you can check in any time.
Business time management could mean the difference between a long, lucrative career and one that’s stressful and short-lived. Use these tips to help you!
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