Time Management Tips for the Successful Small Business Owner
How many times do you think you’re distracted during a workday? Two, three, maybe four times? These distractions don’t have to be a social media scroll or a call from a loved one. Sometimes we can overload ourselves to the point where focus and time management can be nearly impossible to maintain effectively.
According to a survey conducted by the U.S. Department of Labor, on average, we spend 2 hours per day recovering from intrusions. That’s quite a large piece of our daily workload not receiving our complete attention.
So, what steps can we take to combat this problem? There are a number of digital tools and services designed to increase efficiency for your business, letting you save time and money. Here are a few of them:
One trick to time management is to create an organizational system that works for you. By integrating all of your services digitally, you can take advantage of the convenience factor of having all of your data and records at your fingertips.
This technique works really well with your business’ finances. This online small business bank features cross-platform integration with the services you use daily like payroll and payment apps, ecommerce, bookkeeping services, cash flow monitoring, and more, freeing up more of your time to focus on other aspects of your business. You can even allow access for key members of your team to help delegate some of your responsibilities; more on that later.
Creating a Schedule
Running a small business can keep you so busy that it is hard to keep track of all of your appointments and responsibilities. Sure, writing everything down is great and a proven way to retain information, but what happens when you forget to write something down or don’t remember where you left your notes?
A digital planner eliminates all the guesswork and unreliability of the handwritten schedule. Setting reminders, events, and alarms are some ways you and your employees can stay in the loop on your busy day. Maybe your business has limited staff, or you are freelancing, which means you probably don’t have an assistant designated to keeping you on track. Linking your digital planner to your mobile devices and computers is all you need to stay organized. An added bonus: you can easily share your calendar with your collaborators and include links to other digital factors like teleconferences, important resources, and shared documents.
Divide and Conquer
It can be hard to admit when we’ve taken on more than we can chew, especially when you’re an entrepreneur and used to running the business by yourself or with a limited crew. By delegating your workload amongst your team members, you actually allow for more overall productivity.
Without relying on your team to help you with the day-to-day, you can experience something called work burnout. This is especially hard for entrepreneurs and small business owners who find themselves working around the clock. Communicating with your collaborators and clients what you need of them will not only help alleviate your workload but create a better working relationship between you and them, as well.
Set Your Goals
Another way to manage your time better is to create a physical list of goals that you can refer to daily. Whether it is a printed poster, a vision board, a digital document, or an amalgamation of everything, making your goals visible helps to make them more attainable.
Letting your team in on your plans never hurts, either. By providing them with a visual representation of your current and upcoming checkpoints will only improve collaboration and save everyone time. Once you attain one goal on your timeline, replace it with your next one. This will ensure the productivity of your team is constantly pushing forward keeping the business running smoothly.
Sometimes our environment is what gets in the way of our focus. Maybe you work in an open office or you work remotely. Conversely, working in the same location can be mentally tiresome creating a whole slew of distractions. Following the aforementioned tips can give you more time to spend on your work, but it can also open the door to new intrusions.
Create a daily routine allotting time for your outside life and interests. Invest in noise-cancelling headphones or play some music or white noise to help you drown out auditory interferences. The visual diversions require more creative thinking.
If you are creating written content, try changing the font in your document to something more engaging as you draft. Staying physically active rather than sitting in one spot all day can also help to fight against stagnation. A big offender of daily disturbances are our mobile devices. You can minimize interruptions by keeping your notifications to the bare minimum of essentials. Your personal social media status can wait until you’ve met your goals.
These are just some of the many ways we can re-center our focus in our daily business lives. By becoming more disciplined in our organization, attention, communication, and delegation we will, undoubtedly, have a better handle on our time management, and we all know time is money.