Running a business is hard. With so much eating into your time, you may feel as if you need an extra two hours a day, just to get by, let alone think about growing your business.
So what can you do?
Unfortunately, we don’t have the ability to stop time, but we do have the ability to manage our time.
Here are 5 tips on how you can manage your time in your small business.
Are you a fire-fighter in your business? We all have problems in our businesses, but how we handle these problems can either open up huge swaths of time, or take it away.
The best time to deal with a problem is before it even happens. By planning ahead, you can pre-empt most problems that may arise and nip them in the bud, or plan a process around it accordingly.
If a problem is left unchecked, it can quickly become a crisis, sucking even more of your time, so by spending a little time now to plan ahead you will be saving yourself a lot of time in the future.
When you look at your week you probably do the same thing several times a week or day. Instead of doing them in small chunks, focus on doing specific tasks at a time.
For example, we do all our social media on a Monday morning. That means for 4 long hours we (by we I mean Jess) sit at the computer just creating social media posts, no client work, no emails, no looking at the latest funny cat video, purely Social Media.
By doing these tasks in bulk it allows you to enter a state of flow, and you’ll be quicker at doing it. For us, bulking Social media probably saves us 2-3 hours a week, giving us time to work on other projects.
Have a look at your tasks you do each week, what can you bulk together? You might just find it works wonders for you.
Having a schedule helps you to focus. Why? Knowing what you’re going to do and when you’re going to do it, can work wonders on your brain and the focus you have.
Got an email popped into your inbox? Well, I know that at 3 o’clock I have time to reply to emails, so I don’t need to worry about that email, I’ll get to it.
Time-blocking is where you divide your day into chunks of time dedicated to doing one task. This means instead of flitting from one task to another, you focus on doing purely that task until the time slot has finished.
Blocking out chunks of time promotes deep work, and you’ll become quicker at doing these tasks. The more you do it, the better you will get - like building the muscle - which will then increase your productivity during these blocks of time.
If you have scheduled time to do a job, do it.
As your own boss, you have to diligently keep on top of any distractions that may come your way. So turn your phone on silent, turn off notifications on your computer. There are even apps that you can download that block certain websites or features to physically stop you from being distracted.
Another distraction is that of your own mind, if you have 101 things running through your mind it’s a lot harder to maintain your focus. Try getting your thoughts onto paper, write to-do lists, journal, meditate, do things that are proven to help you quieten your mind, to enable you to focus on the important work you are doing.
The most important skill you can have as a small business owner is the ability to draw your boundaries and say no.
The amount of things and people demanding of your time can become overwhelming. By establishing clear boundaries, and sticking to them, means that you get to spend your time doing the things that are important to You.
Don’t be afraid of saying no. You are your own boss, take advantage of it!
So what do you think? Can you incorporate any of these strategies into your business, or do you have anything that you do that works? I would love to know, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow me on twitter.