The tale of a small business owner can be a grueling one. There are often several antagonists to the productivity of a business owner with the ever present conflict of how to properly manage your time. If this is you, know that you are not alone! Every small business owner battles with effective time management in their lives. We’ve heard it before and it holds much truth: time is of the essence, and when you’re a business owner, probably wearing several hats, there’s not enough time to do it all!
Luckily there are several tricks a business owner can learn to help with time management. Here are 4 tips to better managing time as a business owner:
1. Discover Your Productivity Zone
We all have a “productivity zone.” It’s that certain time of the day at that certain spot where we just unleash all our focusing powers onto our important tasks of the day. Maybe your productivity zone is first thing in the morning, right there in your PJs in your bed. You keep your computer close by and don’t waste time with even getting out of bed before crushing those most important tasks. Or maybe your zone is in the middle of the day when you are at the peak of your energy, sipping on coffee at your favorite coffee shop. Or maybe you’re a night owl and your zone is when the rest of the world is sleeping. You may find yourself saving your tasks to the very end of your day slaying it at your home office desk. Whatever your zone is, it’s important to recognize it and tackle your biggest priorities when you’re there.
2. Find a Way to Track Your Time
Simply tracking your time is a great way to understand where your time is going and how to best adjust it for your lifestyle. There are several time tracking apps out there to help. Our favorite to use is Toggl. You can create different categories for your work (or even your whole life) and track how much time you are spending in each category on each specific task. Physically seeing how much time you spend on certain things can be an eye opening experience. It can help you see areas where you are spending too much time and areas where you need to allot more. Time tracking apps like Toggl help us keep every hour of our day in line. If you know you are only suppose to spend 2 hours on a task and you have 30 minutes left, it may help kick your productivity into high gear.
3. Set Goals for Yourself
It’s helpful to know what you have to accomplish. Getting a goals journal will help you keep track of the important tasks on your plate. Instead of becoming completely overwhelmed with the big picture of your tasks break them down into monthly, weekly and daily goals. When you take it one day at a time it’s easier to accomplish your goals. Along with a goals journal, get a checklist planner. Nothing motivates your time management more than being able to physically check something off a list. When you can visually see what you have to accomplish each day it can help you feel like you have a little more control of your precious time.
4. Create a Time Budget
Yes, this is exactly what it sounds like: a budget for your time! Like a financial budget you can create different categories for your “time” (work, family, exercise, leisure, daily chores, etc.) and delegate the amount of time you want to spend in each area. It can help you designate all 24 hours of your day. For example: if you aren’t spending enough time with family, you could budget an hour or two more of time a week to family and take that time from your leisure category. You only have 24 hours to allot in your budget, make every one of them count. If you get to the end of your budget and you realize you’re out of hours then be sure you’re giving the most amount of hours to the things your prioritize as most important. Whether that’s work, family or leisure or so on: you should be devoting the majority of your hours to what you know to be the most important.
Improve Your Time Management!
You no longer to be running around a like a chicken with your head cut off. Take control of all 24 hours of your day with any of these time management tips. When you’re able to maintain your time as a business owner, you will feel much more productive and in turn your business will be more successful. Feeling like you have control of your time will help you feel more centered, and only then can you become the master of your time!