When you own a business and have a growing to-do list, it can feel like time is not on your side. Time management is hard enough, but trying to save time without compromising the integrity of your business can seem like a dangerous balancing act. If you want your business to flourish, but need to gain back some time for yourself, here are 10 tips to help you demolish that to-do list. We have this for you too on the importance of time management.
- Prioritise your to-do list
It might seem like a simple solution, but simply writing your to-do list in order of priority will help you be more productive by prioritising the tasks you need to do, which may well be the ones you’re procrastinating over. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the length of your to-do list, start by picking your three most important or pressing tasks and start with them. Preferably, complete each of these tasks one at a time because multitasking reduces productivity. Prioritising your to-do list will push you to be more efficient.
- Create a Schedule
When you own a business, it can be easy to become sporadic with your work schedule because you are likely very busy but committing to a regular schedule will carve time into your day to demolish your to-do list. Also, if you plan your days in advance, you are more likely to find you have time left over at the end of the day. Start by planning daily, but you could then expand to planning by the week and by the month to ensure you have allocated the time to complete long-term tasks as well.
- Set Yourself Deadlines
Sometimes a deadline motivates you to complete a task quicker, and if you are feeling inundated with things to do, this could motivate you to get things done. There are numerous ways to manage your time, including time boxing, which works by allocating a certain timeframe to a task to motivate you to complete it. This might provide you with the motivation you need to start checking tasks of the list.
- Reduce Clutter
This may seem counter-intuitive but spending just a few minutes tidying your workspace will help you stay organised and minimise distraction, so that you can concentrate on demolishing that to-do list. Eliminating these distractions can help you focus on the task, reducing procrastination and will leave you with time leftover to maintain a happy work-life balance.
- Be Mindful with Social Media
Managing your time spent on social media can be difficult as a business owner because some of the goals on your to-do list may involve responding to emails or posting on social media, but it can be difficult not to fall down a wormhole. If you struggle to step away from social media, try to give yourself a time frame in which to complete any tasks on social media and then consider putting your phone on ‘do not disturb’ so that you will be less tempted to go back to check on who has been engaging with your posts until a more convenient time. By reducing the time spent on social media, you can maximise the time you spend demolishing tasks on your to-do list.
- ‘Batch’ Your Tasks
A great way to increase your productivity is to batch your tasks together, which will also reduce the number of items on your to-do list and make a long list feel slightly more manageable. An example of batching tasks together would be to respond to all unanswered messages in one go as opposed to spreading this out sporadically through the day. Getting these blocks of tasks accomplished will greatly reduce the number of things you have to think about and will save you the time of going to and fro, which as we know when we are doing this it takes us longer to get back into the flow of the task in hand.
- Schedule Your Breaks
As important as it is to set yourself deadlines, it is also important to set yourself breaks. There are a number of methods for breaking up your work, such as the Pomodoro technique which was developed in the 1980s. To do this technique, pick a task, then work on it for 25 minutes. After these 25 minutes, give yourself a 5-minute break. After every 4 tasks, or pomodoros, take a 15–30-minute break. These breaks will help you feel refreshed but keep you focused enough to return to the task at hand so that your to-do list gets smaller.
- Solve Problems Straight Away
If you have a particularly off-putting task that seems riddled with problems you need to troubleshoot, tackle them straight away so that you can reduce the stress regarding that task. This will likely reduce the inevitable procrastination that comes with doing a task you dread. Similarly, if a task is so simple it will take five minutes or less to complete, you should do that immediately. This leaves potentially more enjoyable tasks left over to do, which you may feel more motivated to tick off your list.
- Delegate Where Possible
If you are a business owner, undoubtedly you have a team of colleagues who can take on some of the tasks, which you can assign to them based on their skills and abilities. This ticks things off your to-do list without you becoming burnt out, so you will have more energy to channel into your bigger goals for the business. This way you will be able to concentrate on the growth of your business without being bogged down by tasks that you personally don’t need to be completing.
- Consider Outsourcing
Ultimately, when you are feeling inundated with tasks to complete, it can feel impossible to know where to start to reduce your to-do list, even with your employees to help. If this is the case, it might be time to consider getting some support to take some of these tasks off your hands. The benefit of hiring a virtual assistant is that you can focus on growing your business, whilst being confident in the knowledge that other aspects, such as social media management and customer service are being handled for you, so that you can concentrate on making your business the best it can be, whilst demolishing that to-do list.
Ultimately, demolishing your to-do list as a business owner is likely easier said than done, but with the help of these tips, and potentially a Virtual Hand, hopefully you will be able to increase your productivity and save time which can be spent growing your business further. We’d love to hear from you if we can help so do get in touch and book a free 30-minute call to discuss your options. Alternatively, download our Time Saving Tips.