As a small business owner, you probably don’t have much free time. Instead, you have a lot to do and a lot of deadlines to meet. How can you get more done in less time?
- Set goals. Every morning, write out a list of all the things you need to accomplish that day.
- Create a plan. Work out when and how you will tick each of the things off your to-do list. What supplies or help will you need?
- Prioritize by importance. Sometimes, you will have to cut things from your list. Decide a priority order and tackle these first.
- Prioritize by urgency. Tackle the things that are due first. Later deadlines can be left until later in the week.
- Break down large tasks. If you have some big things to tackle, try to split them into smaller tasks, that will be more manageable.
- Be realistic. Don’t expect to get everything on your list done in an hour. Be realistic about what your limitations and abilities are.
- Track your time. To get a better understanding of what you’re doing with your time, write down everything you do and how long it takes over a few days. Include everything, including emails, social media, and breaks. Use this to find out where you’re wasting your time.
- Set deadlines. If you’re struggling for motivation, set a deadline and tell others about it, so you’re held accountable.
- Keep an eye on the clock. Don’t obsess about time, but don’t let the day get away from you, just because you weren’t paying attention. Check the clock enough to stay on track.
- Set reminders. If you have a deadline or a meeting, set a reminder on your phone to go off just before. Do the same for important bills for your business, or set up recurring payments to save you one chore every month.
- Schedule breaks. Everybody needs breaks, so account for them in your day’s schedule.
- Schedule time for social media and emails. Both of these can big time wasters. Don’t reply to every email as soon as they land, and don’t leave Twitter or Facebook open. Scheduled in a couple of short blocks for these things throughout the day instead.
- Use a social media management system. If you use social media for marketing, you probably have more than one account. Use a central dashboard to manage everything, so you don’t have to go back and forth between sites. You can use these dashboards to schedule posts too to save more time.
- Avoid distractions. There are plenty of distractions that can lead you to waste time during the day. If you work at home, don’t turn the TV on. If you work in an office, take a different route to the water cooler to avoid talkative co-workers.
- Stick to one task at a time. Multi-tasking might seem like a good way to save time, but actually, the opposite is usually true. Concentrate on one task at a time, complete that task, and then move on to the next one.
Photo by tribesh kayastha