HOW TO MANAGE YOUR TIME MORE EFFECTIVELY AS A SMALL BUSINESS OWNER
As a small business owner managing your time is a huge challenge, and I speak from experience as I struggle with this every day.
When you first start as a business owner. You are wearing so many hats, the accountant hat, the director hat, the recruitment hat, the marketing hat…shall I go on?
We are expected to be experts in all of these areas, manage our time, our family and still deal with the business in hand.
At times it can feel like we are treading a hamster’s wheel, drowning in paperwork and productivity can be at an all-time low, working a nine till five all of a sudden seems very appealing! “Maybe I should just go back to a 9 till 5 and let some else take care of it all, have an easy life, less stress…”
But, we don’t because, and the reason we run our own business is we don’t want our time dictated. We want to choose when we take our holidays, and we don’t want to miss those important events because our boss cannot let us have time off work that day. Being your own boss gives you flexibility.
However, I do struggle with managing it all at times, so over the past few years I’ve had to find practical ways to save time (I still haven’t fully cracked it), but I wanted to share ones that work for me…hope you find them useful:
Prioritise your goals
Start your day with a list of goals you want to achieve as this will allow you to prioritise tasks easily. The more specific the goal, the better. Not vague goals: “I would like to get some posts out this week on social media”. Instead, “I would like to get 3 posts out on social media each week on the following platforms, Facebook and Instagram to increase engagement.”
Then from there, you can start to prioritise the task, the content and plan the time you post.
Prioritise them in order of importance; by doing this, you can prioritise the tasks that have the most impact first. Don’t worry if you don’t get all of them done. What’s important is that you prioritise the most critical first. Follow the 80 / 20 rule, 20 % of your tasks are going to have 80 % impact, but you need to prioritise which ones will have the most significant impact.
I use a great tool, called Trello to organise my day and projects and it allows me to add to do list it and share it with other team members.
Avoid all distractions
When you are working to a deadline as most of us are when running our own business. I have found doing the following helps me stay focused and gets the job done effectively.
- Turn off all your notifications on your social media, WhatsApp and emails. If you don’t, you will constantly be checking whilst working, which will interrupt your workflow.
- When working on your business try to break the hours into 45 minutes slots, I put a timer on and try to work without interruption then take 5 minutes break. Shorter breaks with a clear task in hand I find it helps you achieve it.
- If working from home is too distracting… laundry to be done, washing-up, the phone ringing. Remove yourself, find a café or co-sharing space that you go and get focused.
Take advantage of tools to save your time
Doing marketing for several businesses and having access to tools to save me time is so important. Simple things like setting up a ‘Google Alerts’ or using ‘lists’ on Twitter on certain topics that I need to research that week. Find apps that can make your life easier. I use an app called GetPocket that allows you to quickly save articles that you can read later. I also use passwords apps; this stops you wasting too much time looking for your passwords. I dread to think of the amount of time I have lost resetting or looking for my passwords!
Seriously, it’s only till recently that I have started doing this, most of you will probably be already doing this, so I apologise if this is stating the obvious. Why spend an hour or two in a supermarket. My shopping spend has reduced considerably because I am not being tempted to buy food or products I don’t really need!
Get a cleaner
How much time do you spend cleaning the house?? Yes, it is essential, we all need to do it, but it takes up soo much time! When time is of the essence, getting a cleaner can help. Saving time on housework can be put to valuable time with your family or working on your business
I went on a workshop last year, that taught me the value of time management, and how I was wasting so much time on menial tasks.
I now outsource all the jobs I don’t have time to do, for me, I was spending so long doing my accounts when it’s not necessary. Find a good accountant and let them do it for you. The thought of taking on staff members can seem overwhelming but you don’t have to do it all yourself, there are a lot of freelancers out there that are happy to work and take on some of the workloads, so work out what you don’t enjoy doing, or maybe its what you are not particularly good at doing and delegate.
If you have been deliberating on social media started or any marketing tasks are done, then why not give us a call on 07919114828 or email us.