Are you one of those people who just aren’t naturally good at managing time? If so, you’re certainly not alone. But as a business owner, staying on task is a critical component of success because it ensures maximum productivity. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways you can improve in this area even if it doesn’t come as second nature to you. Let’s take a look at seven time management hacks that will help get you on the right track.
To get your schedule under control, you need to first figure out where you’re wasting the most time. What activities are stealing your productivity? Is it getting bogged down with emails? Spending a little too much time on Facebook? Responding to text messages? Surfing the web? Tracking your daily activities to identify your areas of weakness is the first step in effective time management.
Eliminate What You Can
If you discover that much of your wasted time is spent on activities that won’t improve your business, then it’s time to kick those tasks to the curb. For instance, unless you’re posting for your company, spending time on social media might be something you reserve only for after-hours. Figure out what you can comfortably eliminate from your daily routine and do so.
Organize Your Schedule
For the time wasters that you can’t eliminate, the next step is to create more order to your day. Schedule specific blocks of time that are designated for each activity and stick to that arrangement. For example, rather than checking your email 20 times a day, set a time first thing in the morning or at the end of the day to do so. Or, schedule a block of time right after lunch for checking voicemails and returning calls.
Next, figure out what items on your task list are the most critical and develop your daily schedule around those tasks. Go through the list, tackling those high-level activities first. If you find there are some you simply can’t get to, roll them into the next day’s schedule and prioritize again. By focusing your time and energy on what’s most important, you’ll be more productive and less frazzled.
One of the biggest killers of productivity is getting stuck on one particular task. In addition to prioritizing, it’s also important to set limits on the amount of time you’ll dedicate to each item on your to-do list. Even if you’re working on a huge project, taking a break to refresh and recharge can be a far better use of your time and result in a much better outcome.
Use Time Management Tools
We live in an amazing time when technology is making our lives easier than ever before. Take advantage of the tools that are available to you, whether it’s a calendar app on your phone or a software program for your computer. There are literally hundreds of options to choose from, so spend a little time evaluating them to find what fits best with your needs and your business goals.
Lastly, recognize that you can’t be all things to all people. As your business grows, you’ll inevitably reach a point at which you can no longer handle everything yourself. Rather than spreading yourself too thin, be willing to admit when it’s time to enlist help, whether it’s hiring an employee or outsourcing to an independent contractor. By delegating some of your tasks, you’ll free yourself up to focus on much more important activities.
Still struggling to optimize your time? Don’t sweat it. We can give you the tools and strategies you need to master your schedule once and for all. Contact us today to get started!