Do you feel like you’re spending the majority of your time on the day-to-day tasks of your business, leaving you with little to no time to grow your company and focus on what you love?
When there’s always an endless list of things to do, improving time management is the best way to prioritize what’s most important to you and focus your time on tasks that accomplish your biggest goals.
Read on to learn how to use your time effectively.
The Importance of Time Management for Small Business Owners
Effective time management is crucial for small business owners to take their company to the next level. Owners that utilize good time management deliver products and services on time, solve problems without significantly impacting day-to-day operations, and prioritize their most important tasks that accomplish big goals.
Tips for Using Your Time Effectively
Let’s explore some tips for using your time effectively to improve time management skills:
Focus on Tasks That Drive Profit
Keep an eye on high-priority tasks that drive profit, ignoring the once-good advice to knock out small tasks immediately. There will always be an endless stream of emails, texts, and small tasks before you, so don’t stress about trying to complete them all or even most of them. Use your time effectively by keeping an eye on the prize and prioritizing tasks that yield profitable results. Those could be things like:
- Driving sales
- Identifying your most profitable customers or products
- Analyzing your prices for a potential increase
- Analyzing your average dollar amount per transaction
- Determining how to increase dollars per transaction
- Supporting your high-performers
Don’t Let Technology Distract You
While technological advances have helped us get an astounding amount of work done in a day compared to 20 years ago, they’ve also increased our daily task load. Instead of completing three or four big tasks a day, small business owners are often overwhelmed with dozens or hundreds of small communication tasks each day. The key to using your time effectively in a world filled with technological distractions is keeping your focus on profit. When checking and responding to business emails, don’t let yourself get side-tracked by responding to non-essential texts, tweets, and emails.
One powerful way to organize your time is to compartmentalize it. Switching from task to task may seem like a good way to get everything done, but it actually wastes a significant amount of time. Let’s use checking and responding to emails as an example. The average person gets 60 emails a day. Let’s say you stop working on a profitable task to check half of your new emails as they come into your inbox—that means you’ve jumped off that important task 30 times to check emails that you might not consider a high priority. You can improve time management and avoid distractions by compartmentalizing your day, carving out time to focus on your most important tasks and blocking out everything else that takes your eye off the prize—profit.
How do you compartmentalize your time? Use what’s called a “Default Calendar.” Develop a weekly calendar that includes not only your meetings but goal accomplishment time and personal time and then try to stick to it as closely as possible each week.
Sync Your Calendars
Managing multiple calendars wastes your time and energy. The best way to organize your time and schedule is by syncing your personal and business calendars. That way, you have a clear picture of what’s coming up in your personal and professional life so you can prioritize your most important meetings and events. Sync your smartphone to your Outlook calendar, for example, and if you use Google calendar, sync it to your email calendar.
Hire a Business Coach
If you’re running into time management obstacles preventing you from further business growth, hiring a business coach is worth it. A business coach that specializes in helping small businesses reach their full potential can provide you with strategies and best practices that minimize your time spent in the day-to-day operations so you can focus on planning for future success.
Delegation is another powerful thing you can do to use your time effectively to grow your business. When you delegate, you spend more of your time, talents, and expertise on work that truly moves your company forward by freeing yourself from tasks that don’t result in profit.
Small to mid-sized businesses face unique challenges that need a business coach to act as a sounding board to help them reach their full potential.
How to Delegate Effectively
In most small businesses, the business owner’s capacity is the limiting factor in the growth of the business, so it’s imperative that you not only delegate—but delegate well.
To delegate effectively, start by taking inventory of the tasks you complete daily. For one week, write down every task you’re responsible for, no matter how mundane. Make sure to include every two-minute task. While one doesn’t take up too much of your time, six or seven tasks quickly add up, and before you know it, half your day is gone. By delegating small tasks to team members, you free up your time to focus on high-priority tasks that result in business success and growth.
What Should You Delegate?
Most recurring tasks can be given to someone else. The list will look a little different for everyone, but here are the types of tasks that many small business owners delegate:
- Answering the phone
- Returning calls
- Handling mail
- Completing routine reports, like expenses, mileage logs, and weekly production
- Scheduling meetings
- Running errands
- Maintaining databases
- Doing research
- Bookkeeping and filing
- Updating and maintaining the company website
- Scheduling daily/weekly social media posts, tweets, and blog posts
- Writing marketing content, letters, job descriptions, and estimates
Delegate the low-priority tasks so you can focus on the high-payoff, revenue-producing tasks, like networking, meeting clients and prospects, removing roadblocks for your high performers, providing resources to your team, holding people accountable, and expanding into new markets.
Helping Improve Time Management for Small Business Owners
At Inspire Results Business Coaching, we help improve time management for small business owners with our superior business coaching services. We can help you gain a new perspective on your business by working side by side with you to help you do the right things at the right time in the right way, so you can use your time effectively to complete important tasks that lead your business to success. Contact us today to learn more about our business coaching solutions.