As every small business owner knows, there are never enough hours in the day. And especially as we begin a new year, it is difficult to acknowledge all of the previous goals we were unable to accomplish because we ran out of time.
This year, consider taking small steps each day towards better time management, with the goal of accomplishing more with the time that you have. To keep yourself focused, think about what you want to accomplish with the time you can save, whether it’s taking a family vacation or incorporating more work training into your monthly schedule.
The first step is keeping track of your time. This might seem arduous at first, but simply standing and asking “Where did the time go?” really doesn’t tell you anything about how to fix the problem. In order to make better use of your time, you have to first see where your time is going. Spend a week (or two, if possible) keeping track of your tasks and seeing how much time you spend on each one. You might be surprised to see how much time you spend reading and answering emails, for example.
Speaking of email, it can often be helpful to address emails all at once rather than as they come in. If this is an option for you, then turn off your alerts and try not to look at your emails on the computer or phone screen except for at the designated times. You would be surprised how much time you can lose to email interruptions.
Finally, try to delegate as many tasks as possible. If you are your only employee, then this might mean delegating home tasks to allow you more time to finish things up at work. And you don’t always have to delegate in the traditional sense. Or, if you discover that you spend a large chunk of time traveling to the post office, for example, consider an in-home postage system to which you can “delegate” postage-related tasks. The bottom line is to try to take some projects off your plate so as to allow you to focus on the task at hand.