Running a business is hard work. Business owners are pulled in so many different directions, that it can often be hard to focus on big picture items, such as growing your business and prospecting for new clients.
To help combat this assault on a business owner’s most precious commodity – time – this blog post will focus on time management tips you can use to squeeze the most productivity out of your day!
Time Management Tips for Business Owners
Everyone – whether you are a business owner or regular Joe on the street – can benefit from good time management. In a business setting, effective time management equates to an increase in revenue, business growth, and, believe it or not, enjoyment. Imagine walking into an office minus the usual chaos of your day to day routine!
The first step you should take when getting your time management under control is to keep a record book for anywhere between one week to a month. In this book, you will mark down any and all activities you participate in, alongside the time you began, and the time you ended. If you have a conversation, write it down. If you did some work, mark it in the book.
By the end of the week (or month if you choose that route), you will have a great guide that shows you where you spend your time. In it, you will clearly see your most productive areas and your least productive.
Don’t fret if you don’t appear as productive as you feel like you are on paper – that is what this exercise is all about!
Trim the Fat
Now that you have your guidebook in hand, it is time to cut out the bits that are least productive, or that produce the least revenue/growth. Identify any tasks that you do not need to be involved in, and delegate those to someone else. When you are finished, all that should be on your list are the top items that either generate the most money, help your business expand, or that you absolutely must be a part of.
E-mails Can Wait
You would be surprised with how much time individuals spend answering e-mails each day. And while this “busy work” may seem productive, in reality, the majority of time spent working in e-mail is a complete waste.
To get a better handle on this time waster, set specific times that you will check your e-mail. First thing in the morning, mid-day, and half an hour before you leave work is a great schedule.
In addition, consider setting an auto-responder on your e-mail to automatically reply to messages, alerting senders that you will respond within 24 hours and that if it is an emergency, they can reach you at your office phone number.
Finally, create a filter to separate important e-mails into an urgent folder and the rest into a folder that you can check at set times. These simple steps will save you a huge chunk of time and increase your overall productivity.
Plan Your Day
The moment you walk into your office, take out a pen and plan your day. Make a to-do list of “must-accomplish” items that you need to finish before you close up shop for the night, and then stick to it. Making up such a list will help you focus on the important tasks, and weed out less important chores.