Self-employment is one of the most challenging, yet rewarding jobs you can have. You work long hard hours, often missing out on events with your friends and family and sacrificing nights and weekends to ensure your business stays afloat. A huge factor in the success of your business is time management. The ability to complete tasks in a timely manner is something many business owners struggle with. Failing to make time management a priority can lead to a decrease in business and may even end in total failure. Below, we’re sharing a few tips on how you can increase your productivity in your day to day operations in order to continue operating a successful business.
Identify Where Your Time is Being Spent
As a small business owner, it’s likely you’re being pulled in a million different directions on a daily basis. While this leaves you feeling exhausted, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve accomplished anything. Remaining conscious of where you’re time is actually being spent each day can help you identify your biggest time wasters and turn them into positives.
If you’re stuck in terms of where to start, there are plenty of time tracking apps out there for you to experiment with. If you’re into doing things the old fashioned way, just grab a piece of paper and a pen and log each and every task you work on per day. It’s important to be accurate and include all details in order to truly track where your time is being spent. Once you’ve got this information laid out in front of you, you’ll have an overview and be able to pick and choose allocation.
The overall goal is to define where your time is currently being spent and where it would be better spent in the interest of your business. Before you begin this analysis, some things to consider zoning in on are how much time you spend checking emails, taking phone calls, running errands for your business or engaging in non-business related tasks. Once you’ve identified these factors, you can work on getting that time back. For example, if you’re constantly waiting in long lines at the bank to make deposits, a mobile banking app may be a better option for your small business. Digital banking allows you to manage your finances from your handheld device while on the go, anywhere at anytime. This means more time to spend on necessities for your business and less time wasted.
It’s Okay to Delegate
When you’re the captain of your ship, you feel the need to do every single thing simply because you want it done right. While this is a goal many small business owners set for themselves, it’s one that is typically unattainable. Because you’re only one person, you’re only mentally and physically capable of getting so much done in a day. In order to focus your time on priorities, you must be okay with leaning on others for assistance.
Handing off tasks you’re used to completing yourself to others can be stressful, but if handled properly, it does not have to be. First, you’ll want to set clear expectations in terms of how you want the task performed and if there are any deadlines associated with it. That way, the person now responsible knows exactly what you expect of them. If you’re looking for more on how to delegate effectively, check out this page.
As an owner, it may feel foreign to assign others tasks you’re used to completing, however, overtime you will find that releasing some of this control actually allows you to spend more time on the important items on your to-do list and less time feeling stressed. In turn, you’re also helping your employees gain experience in areas they may not have felt comfortable in before and providing them with an opportunity to earn your trust.
Expect the Unexpected
No matter how hard you try to plan, you must always expect the unexpected, especially when it comes to your business. As an owner you have two choices; you can either get upset or step back from the situation, assess and approach things with a positive attitude. You will not always have a plan for everything, but taking into consideration that every situation is a learning opportunity will only help you grow! It is also important to try not to let stressful times derail you from your focus. If you need to take a break to reset, that’s perfectly okay. Check out this article for some tips on how to recharge your energy while working.
If you’re having trouble with time management within the daily operations of your small business, utilizing these tips will certainly help. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day and things take time. With patience and a little help from technology and those around you, your business will be where it needs to be if you keep working at it!