Time is of the essence when running either a Small and medium-sized enterprise or a large business. Having to meet your set targets and deadlines, social media marketing, lead generation, responding to clients, travel arrangements, etc. requires time. Hence, good work time management is critical for your business success.
If you are running a small business, it is possible that you are working alone or with few people, which undoubtedly makes time management difficult. However, you can employ some good practices including time tracking to ensure work efficiency. Here are some tips for effective work time management for small business owners.
As a small business owner, you are probably also the manager, accountant, client relation manager, receptionist, etc. of your business. With these huge daily tasks, you need to have a planned schedule to achieve work efficiency. Preparing a daily or weekly schedule helps you to structure your time to include all your activities. This helps to prevent the stress of jumping from one task to the other and doing things haphazardly.
In planning your schedule, place the most important tasks first while also considering deadlines. After listing all your important tasks for the day or week, filter them according to their deadlines. Those with immediate deadlines must be priorities in order not to miss them. If something changes in the cause of the week, reorganize the schedule to suit it.
Include Distractions in Your Plans
As a business owner, you cannot foretell future events; hence, you need to make room for emergencies. Emergencies can distract your entire work plan for the day or week, because, a break in the production line can affect production; while an emergency trip would mean all scheduled meetings within the period must hold.
Though every hour count, planning your activities to include every hour of the day is unrealistic and a recipe for failure. Include distractions when creating schedules and deadlines to help you to meet your targets. With that said, you can do others things when for example there is a distraction in production. You can use that period to learn how to enhance your customer service, send and respond to emails from clients, do social media engagements, or do other administrative duties.
Organize Your Daily Activities
As an entrepreneur, is sometimes difficult to predict your typical daily activities. This is because you normally do everything by yourself including running errands. Your daily tasks may include visiting suppliers, clients, project sites, talking to your bankers for a loan facility, etc. that notwithstanding, try to organize your core daily business activities. Don’t worry about having to change some of the tasks along the line, the fact that you’ve organized them can help you stay on course and focused. Being focused increases productivity and enhances work efficiency.
If you find it difficult to follow your schedules, involve technology. With time clock software, you can manage your time effectively and stay on course. The technology helps you to track your time and that of your workers no matter the location. At the end of the day, you are able to track your productive hours and hours that you did nothing. Such details can help you regulate and plan future schedules.
Set Your Priorities Right
As a startup, your core business duties should be your priorities, and any other thing can wait. Don’t substitute important task for pleasure. For example, you don’t waste time on social media and chatting with friends when there are some administrative duties to undertake. Don’t get me wrong, you can take breaks when necessary to avoid stress, however, when it is time to work, do just that.
Do you know that working while tired negatively affects productivity? A stressed mind loses focus easily and commits many errors. So, although you are working against time, don’t forget the importance of breaks to productivity. The break periods help you to take a rest, refresh the mind, and rejuvenate the body for the next task.
In addition, don’t try to do everything at once. Divided attention is a killer of productivity and work efficiency. Yes, it is good to multi-task sometimes, but you should know when and how. Having divided attention or trying to multi-task mostly ends with completing just half of the tasks involved. But, if you were to concentrate on one, you could have finished and moved to the other. You should factor all these into your time management practices to get the best out of the day.
Delegate some Tasks
Financial constraints may force you to do almost everything by yourself as an entrepreneur. Under such circumstances, it may be difficult to hire extra hands, especially full-time workers to assist you. Though not your fault, if this persists, it can affect your time management.
Business growth generally comes with tasks increment, and if you continue to work alone, you will overwork, and stress yourself. It is therefore important to delegate some tasks to in-house worker or a virtual assistant. As they help you with your tasks, you reduce the burden on you and able to manage your time doing other things.