Great time management is essential to the long-term happiness and success of any business owner. Learning how to manage your time wisely boosts productivity while cutting down on stress and making space for a personal life. The following five tips can also help business owners make the most of their time without losing their minds.
Five tips for making the most of your time
Keep a detailed log of how you spend your time
After two weeks, analyze what tasks have taken up the most time and decide if you can go about those tasks more efficiently. Consider delegating tasks that could be performed by another employee. It may help to establish set times of the day for responding to emails and phone calls. Blocking off time for these tasks can prevent interruptions to the flow of your day. You should also try to identify time wasters. These are non-essential tasks that you can do at home instead of at the office.
Prepare for every challenge with daily planning
Set aside 20 to 30 minutes every morning to plan out your day. Make a list of all the tasks you need to complete and prioritize them according to when they must be finished. Make sure to leave time in your day for lunch and breaks. It may be tempting to stay chained to your desk or skip meals, but these practices will only make you tired and cranky. You can be your most efficient when you feel great and have a clear plan for your day.
Work during your own peak time
Some individuals can get more done early in the morning while others may be able to knock out tasks late at night. Think about when you are at your most productive and plan to work during that time. If you’re most productive outside of business hours, be sure to take plenty of breaks and rest during the day so that you don’t wear yourself out. If you’re most productive during the workday, make a clear do not disturb policy and insist that you only be interrupted in the case of a pressing matter or emergency.
Establish a system to manage your time
Depending on your personal preferences, you might use software or a PDA to manage your schedule. Perhaps you prefer an old-fashioned day planner or desk calendar. No matter the method you use, stick to it. If you have a secretary and other administrative support staff, it’s probably best to use an electronic calendar that can be shared between your computers. Most calendars allow you to set automatic alarms or reminders to keep you on task.
Embrace the power of apps
Whether you have a smart phone, tablet or desktop computer, you’ll be able to find apps that can boost your productivity. Business owners have a wealth of apps from which to choose. Use an app to track the amount of time you spend on a single task. Some timers will even help you track when you’ve slacked off, giving you a good chuckle and boosting productivity at the same time.