Running a small business is not a small task. It involves the orchestration of dozens of activities that are time sensitive and quality sensitive. This means that if you do not manage your time properly you can end up hurting your business’s chances of earning a profit or even of staying in business. Below are five time management tips that will help small business owners to keep their business and their time on schedule.
Tip #1 – Know Your Priorities
The first rule of thumb for small business time management is to know how to prioritize your activities. Prioritization of tasks and duties can be done based on deadlines, consequence related to not doing the task and potential profit or loss from the activity. Each day you need to create a to do list with the most important tasks at the top of your list and the lesser important tasks near the bottom.
Tip #2 – Schedule Tasks and Duties
The next time management tip is to schedule your tasks and duties just as you would an appointment. This will help you to refocus your activities if you get side tracked by other things in your office like a client or employee that needs your assistance. Scheduling your tasks and duties will also give you a visual timeline of what you need to do during a specific work day and by when the task needs to be done.
Tip #3 – Learn to Delegate
If your to do list is five pages long then it is time to delegate tasks to others in your business. If you have an administrative assistant he or she can handle many of your tasks that relate to running errands and completing basic paperwork. For example, an administrative assistant can get the mail, pick up office supplies and even compose correspondences for you based on your notes. For more technical duties and tasks you can have other staff members that have the skills to handle these duties to complete them for you.
Tip #4 – Don’t Multi-Task
While there is a lot of hype about the benefits of multi-tasking there really is no such thing as multi-tasking. Your brain can only focus on one thing at a time. This means when you try to multi-task that your brain has to constantly shift from focusing on one activity to the other. This actually will hurt your productivity instead of improving it. Instead of multi-tasking you will want to focus all of your attention on completing your tasks in order of their importance or deadline.
Tip #5 – Schedule Time to Relax in the Middle of the Day
While this tip may seem counter-productive, taking a short break in the middle of the day can actually boost your productivity. A short break to take a walk or a cat nap will revitalize you and help you steam through the second part of your work day when most people begin to slow down. This can help increase the amount of work that you are able to get done in a single work day, without overtime.