Time Crunch? 6 Time Management Tips for Small Business Owners
If you’re a small business owner, you know that there never seems to be enough time in the day to get everything done. But are you managing your time in the most effective way?
- Set a schedule – and stick to it. Start every morning by setting up blocks of time for specific tasks. For instance, allot yourself an hour in the morning for email, two hours to write up a project brief, an hour to negotiate a contract with a vendor, and so on. While you don’t have to rigidly adhere to this schedule, it can help give structure to your day so you get more done.
- Reduce email overload. It can be easy to lose hours every day to just writing and responding to email. Worse, taking the time from another task to address an email that just came in can break your concentration. Studies have shown that it can take you fifteen minutes or more to get back to concentrating deeply on a task once you have been distracted. Instead of responding immediately to emails, block out an hour mid-morning and an hour at the end of the day to respond to email.
- Delegate to your employees – and trust them. There is no faster way to sink your company or limit its growth than by micromanaging your employees. It’s vital that you hire employees you trust and empower them to make smart decisions. Set good guidelines and provide mentorship, then get out of the way.
- Outsource. Many projects can be outsourced, freeing up your time so you can get back to operational tasks. Organizations like Ohio Valley Goodwill Industries can complete fulfillment jobs like product kitting, assembly, packaging, and shipping with skilled employees. Ask for a free tour of these facilities.
- Limit distractions. While it may seem that technology is on our side, when it comes to productivity, the distractions that come with technology can be our undoing. Programs like Freedom or Cold Turkey can help you block the internet or block only specific websites for set periods of time. Turn off your mobile phone or press the “Do not disturb” button on your office phone for an hour or two at a time to work distraction-free.
- Get it in writing. Small business owners often think that because they have fewer employees, communication should be a breeze. But small businesses suffer from the same challenges posed by poor communication. After you have had a phone conversation with someone, be sure that one of you follows up with a short email communication summarizing agreed upon tasks or next steps to ensure you are all on the same page.