Top 8 Time Management Tips
Time is precious when you’re running a small business. Too often it feels like there is just not enough time in the day. Organizing your time can be overwhelming and need focus and purpose. Increase your productivity with the right approach, so you can work efficiently and stress-free.
Here are eight tips to help you manage your time better.
It is vital that you are engaging in activities that support your short – and long-term business goals. Everything else that does not serve these goals is a waste of time. Make sure you clearly know the goals of your business, so that you can revolve your daily plans around doing tasks that directly relate to growing your business.
In the book First Things First, author Stephen Covey suggests creating offers an organizational to-do list based on how important and urgent tasks are.
Look at your daily activities and try to fit them into these categories:
- Important and urgent — Vital tasks to be done right away.
- Important but not urgent — These tasks appear important but upon closer examination, they are not urgent, so you can decide when you tackle them.
- Urgent but not important — The tasks that make the most “noise” but when they are accomplished they have little to no lasting value, delegate these tasks if possible.
- Not urgent and not important — These tasks are low-priority and offer the illusion of “being busy.” Do them later.
List three or four “important and urgent” tasks that must be addressed today. Check it off your list as you complete them. This will provide a sense of accomplishment that will help motivate you to complete the less essential tasks too.
Know Where You’re Wasting Time
We are all prey to get our times sucked by common time-wasters that cut into our productivity. What is stealing your time? Are you spending too much surfing the web, reading email, posting on Facebook, texting or making personal phone calls?
Track your daily activities to see how much time you are wasting and where you wasting it. This will give you an accurate picture of how much time you spend on your daily activities and knowing that is the first step to effective time management.
You are in charge of your own time and you know what your priorities are. Do not hesitate to turn down requests in order to attend what is truly important and urgent. Also, feel free to pull out of projects and activities that you’ve determined are going nowhere. Use this new time to move on to productive tasks. Always learn from your experiences so that you can avoid wasting time later on.
Make A Plan
The worst way to jump into a day is without a clear idea of what you need to get done. Time spent ahead of time making a plan will seem trivial compared with the time you’ll spend jumping from one activity without a plan.
Depending on how you function try one of these planning options.
At the end of the day, take 15 to 20 minutes to clear your desk and put together a list of the next day’s most pressing tasks. You will wake calmly the next morning to a nice clear desk and a plan for your day.
Arrive early to work the next day to assemble your prioritized list of tasks. This might be the most productive part of your day.
Track how many times you are interrupted while doing an important task. Make sure to track self-induced distractions too, especially those caused by social media.
While your smartphone is very useful, it can also be addictive and a huge source of where you are wasting your time.
It might take all the willpower you have but try shutting your door and your phone to maximize your time spent on an important project. You don’t always have to be connected, you can schedule a part of your day to get back to people, reply to emails and return calls.
If you have hired employees or work with a partner, allow them to help you manage work on your desk. When you’re running a small business, it is important not to get distracted by the day-to-day operations. While you’re focusing on the big picture and growing your business, look to pass off specific tasks to other people on your team.
Establish A Routine
While unexpected events will come in your day, you’ll still be more productive if you have a routine for most of your day. You can focus better on the tasks in your day when you create and follow a routine.
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How Do You Organize Your Day Effectively?
Successful people know how to organize their days effectively.
Whether you’re the type of person to hit the snooze button or the kind that jumps out of bed at the sound of the alarm, we all need a little time management nudge now and then. Set your day up for success with maximized productivity with these tips about organizing your day.
Plan Your Day the Night Before
You should make a plan of starting your following day with purpose before you go to bed the night before. Get out your planner or journal and put your action plan for the next day together.
Generally, you should have least four plans for every single day. One should be work-related, one should be a personal activity like an errand and two should for accomplishing your life dreams and passion.
Schedule For Interruptions
Make allowances in your plan for unexpected interruption to avoid frustration with delays in your daily schedule. Not everything will go as planned. The only way to successfully plan your day is to realistically a lot of time and plan time for interruptions.
Accomplishing Something Big To Start Your Day
Do your biggest task first thing in the morning, so you can enjoy the rest of your day. This way, even if you don’t accomplish anything else for the rest of the day, at least you can claim to be productive for completing the biggest thing on the list.
Use a time-tracking application to help you stay on track.
Stay On Track With a Time-tracking App
Use a time tracking app to help you see where your time is going. Use the app to not just track your time but allow you to schedule activities like checking Facebook and Twitter.
Use Toggl, SlimTimer and RescueTime to track your daily activities.
Accept That You Can’t Do Everything In One Day
You’re not a superhero and you can’t do everything all at once and in one day.
When you’re working on a project don’t cram it all one day but instead plan for milestones instead. Don’t get frustrated if you could not do everything you had planned to do.
You’re not Superman (or are you…?) so you can’t do everything in one day. Instead of working on a big project in one day and cramming it, arrange milestones instead. Don’t get frustrated if you weren’t able to finish everything you’ve planned.
Remember, there is always time.