For any business operator, effective time management is a critical skill.
After all, there are only so many hours in the week, and chances are that week is packed full of a range of tasks that you need to get through in order to move your business forward.
Effective time management is also an important skill when it comes to avoiding overwhelm.
So let’s look at five ways you can manage your time more effectively…
Account for your time
Chances are you know how long each task in your business takes you, but occasionally you might be surprised to find even the little things take longer than you expect.
To know how to manage your time, you need to know exactly where it’s being taken up.
To ascertain that, spend a week documenting what you tend to do when and accurately note down how long exactly each task takes.
Schedule your day
Once you know where you spend your time, you can start to manage it more effectively, blocking periods of time to accomplish certain tasks.
Time blocking is a hugely effective way of increasing your productivity, as it allows you to complete set task lists without interruption.
And dedicating yourself to a task rather than flicking between multiple jobs is important. Experts note when you multi-task, such as checking emails while quoting on a job, it actually costs you time and productivity.
In practise, time blocking might see you designate an hour at the start of your day to checking and responding to emails. At the end of that you might have a further hour dedicated to making phone calls, followed by an hour of invoicing, etc.
An added benefit of this is you approach your work with a daily plan.
Guard your time carefully
Your time also needs to be protected, so there might be periods during the day when you are unavailable to take phone calls or when your office door is shut.
Meanwhile, be wary of time bandits. These are the people who pop in for a quick chat, only to sidetrack you with drama or idle conversation.
Delegate what you can
Once you’ve identified the tasks that take up your day, consider which ones you really need to be doing. Are there non dollar productive items on your list that could be outsourced or delegated?
For example, some phone calls could be handled by your assistant, or perhaps some invoices could be looked after by a book keeper.
The aim of the game here is to free you up from the menial tasks so you can instead concentrate on the core items that build your business.
Look to tech to improve efficiency
Technology does not solve all things but it can allow for greater efficiency, particularly if you use the right tools in the right places.
For example, CRMs can help identify when you need to reach out to a client and social media tools can help you schedule posts and blogs across multiple channels, while automatic invoicing software can speed up the accounting process.
If there are areas where you are spending unnecessary time on an unimportant task which could be streamlined with technology, weigh up whether that might be a worthwhile investment.
The final word
When you embrace successful time management, you create space to work on, not just in, your business and ultimately this can help grow your business faster.
If you’re looking for more tips on business growth including how time management can assist with the implementation of goals, I’m available to assist, and you can book a brainstorming call here.