As a business owner, you need to accomplish so much in your working day. But it isn’t always easy to know how to manage your workload and time effectively. It can be a little overwhelming seeing everything you need to accomplish on your to-do list and even more stressful wondering how you’re going to get it all done!
But good time management isn’t something you’re born with; it’s a skill that takes time to master. So give yourself a little grace and some time to learn. Take a look at these 10 tips and decide which ones you can start implementing into your day to help improve your time management.
#1: Make a to-do list
Improving your time management skills starts with knowing what tasks need to get done. And you can’t do this without writing them down. Have a central list to jot down all the tasks you need to complete. You can then start to batch tasks together and prioritise accordingly.
#2: Organise your time
Use the 4 D’s of time management to help manage your workload. These will help you cut down on the tasks you need to complete as you’re establishing what tasks need to be on your to-do list and whether you’re the best person to do them. [Check out this recent blog for more help on the 4 D’s.]
#3: Set yourself realistic deadlines
Deadline setting can, in itself, be a source of frustration. Often, you may find you set a deadline but then end up working late to achieve it. If this often happens to you, decide on your initial deadline date and add 30-50% extra. It can also help if you start by working backwards from the due date and factor in milestones. Remember, you need to also factor in time for rest and the potential for distractions.
#4: Know what you’re saying yes to
It’s easy to be someone who wants to help everyone. But saying yes to everything isn’t always helpful to you or your ability to manage time. You’ll also find the initial request doesn’t often include all the details and facts! So get into the habit of gathering all the facts before saying yes to a task or project.
#5: Say no more often
And that leads us nicely to saying no! This simple word is often really hard to say, but it will help your time management no end. Protect your time and say no to anything that doesn’t need your expertise or unique gifts.
#6: Focus on one task at a time
Multitasking is something that’s going to really eat into your available time. You may think you’re achieving several things at once, but in reality, you’re just dividing your focus and creating a less than stellar result. You’ll get much better results if you focus on one task at a time and set yourself several 45-90 minute slots of focused time for each project or task.
#7: Don’t underestimate what you can achieve in a couple of minutes
We all have spare minutes within our working day; the key is to use them effectively. It’s so easy to think you only have 5 extra minutes, so what’s the point of working on a task? But those few minutes soon add up. And you’ll be surprised at how many tasks on your to-do list can be completed with a few focused minutes.
#8: Regularly review your workload
Things change, and it’s no different with your workload and your available time. So give yourself permission to regularly review your task list and see if those tasks need to still be on there. Have priorities or deadlines changed? Is there someone better suited for a task? Have the parameters changed?
#9: Track your time
If you want to improve your time management, you need to know where your time is going. Tracking your time will help you work this out. You can then look at ways to streamline what you’re doing, better batch tasks together, or document your processes. Because when you document processes, you have a system in place to be more efficient with your time.
#10: Delegate more often
Finally, look to delegate more often. It can be difficult, especially if you’re used to doing it all yourself, but it will help free up your time. You need to decide whether you’re the only person who can do a specific task or whether it’s more important to complete the task.
If you’re looking to free up your time, delegate and get more done, why not get in touch and let’s discuss your options. We’re a team of action-takers ready to provide business support to busy, ambitious business owners like you. We want to help you free up time so you can focus on what matters most – whether that’s spending more time with the family or sharing your gift with more clients. So reach out and let’s see if we can help you – you’ll find our contact details here.