Without competent time management skills, you can never reach your full potential. And small business owners have more demanding workloads and more hectic schedules. Then the average person, making time management even more critical and valuable. Fortunately, in the information age, we can leverage technology and smartphones to help us better manage our time.
Between payroll, hiring employees and contractors, dealing with customer complaints, and all the other myriad of facets of your business. It’s easy to get sidetracked from your goals.
As many a small business owner has said (at least once in their life), there just aren’t enough hours in the day. But with good time management practices, you can maximize the productivity of your limited time.
Discipline Your Sleep Cycle (management skills)
If you want to perform at your best, sleep is everything. But too many small business owners think they can just buck up and muscle their way through tough work schedules by sacrificing sleep.
For instance, some small business owners think. They can get by on only four or five hours of sleep, and, in fact, some are even proud of how little. They sleep because they think it equates to a strong work ethic.
First of all, getting so little sleep isn’t healthy. Second of all, it decreases your ability to think clearly and breeds mistakes and further losses of time. Aim for at least seven hours of sleep per night, and get into the habit of sleeping and waking up. The same time each day to get into a healthy and efficient routine.
Knock Out Highest-Priority Tasks First
You need to identify and rank which tasks are the most crucial for achieving your goal. As you plan out each day, create a plan of attack that focuses on the highest-priority tasks first. That way, if you run into trouble or delays and don’t cross all of the items of your daily checklist. The incomplete tasks will be tasks that aren’t as consequential.
Furthermore, it’s an empowering feeling to know. That the rest of the day is downhill and that you conquered the day’s largest challenge early. Doing so helps build confidence and momentum. That avoids the potential of reaching the end of the day with only a small amount of time to complete an enormous task.
Avoid Multitasking – Focus!
When trying to manage your time efficiently, believe it or not, multitasking is your worst enemy. Focus, on the other hand, is your best friend. Thousands of things can disrupt your workflow and erode your productivity with insidious distractions. Like glancing at your phone, replying to a text message, checking Twitter, and other similar wastes of time.
Even if you eliminate distractions, trying to do two or more things. Once it means you can’t operate at full capacity on a single task. Instead, you function at less than full capacity. Even when you consider your efforts as a weighted average among the tasks you are trying to complete at the same time.
Time Accounting with Spreadsheets and Google Sheets
Time management skills would be incomplete without considering using a spreadsheet as a planner. These days, you can use Google Sheets to share access to a spreadsheet among all of your devices (be they desktops, laptops. Or mobile devices) that will help manage your time and keep you organized. More specifically, you want at least five main columns in your shared spreadsheet planner.
The first column simply marks every hour of the day; for more granularity. You can further divide each row into 15-minute or 5-minute intervals. Then, the next column should list the task you are planning to perform at that time of the day.
In addition, the third column should mark. How much time you actually spent on the task, followed by whether or not you were able to hit your goal and complete the task.
Finally, the fifth column should mark. What you were actually doing at that time of the day if you deviated from your schedule “management skills”.
Keeping track of this data helps uncover strengths and weaknesses. Which helps you better understand how and where you are spending your time. Then you can find a way to be more efficient.
Incorporate Unwind and Recharge Periods into Your Day
If you’ve ever performed interval training at the gym. You know that it’s impossible for your body to sprint 100 percent of the time. Your body – and your mind, for that matter – have fallible limitations, and you need to acknowledge them. As such, don’t forget to reserve short periods of rest in your day to unwind and recharge.
Maybe yoga is your thing, or maybe a 15 or 30-minute period of meditation helps center your brain. Some people like a quick power nap, while others love the endorphin-high they get from a cardio workout.
Though it may not always be practical to take time out of your busy schedule, make a conscious effort to carve out time to unwind.
Group Related Tasks Together
It’s a good idea to group related tasks together, especially if you’re learning something new. The repetition of a new task in contiguous blocks of time will help aid and reinforce the learning process (management skills).
Otherwise, you may find yourself forgetting what you learned previously and having to backtrack.
Furthermore, different jobs use brainpower from different areas of our brain, be they creative or logical tasks. It can be tough to adjust from one mode of thinking to another if you don’t intelligently schedule similar items together, which can slow you down and waste time.
Last but not least, as a leading digital marketing specialist in running SEO and SEM for window treatment and awning companies. I want to remind you that your daily list is not the end-all-be-all indicator of success or failure. If you fail to achieve all the items on your list, it’s possible that you set unrealistic goals.
Also, be aware that life is full of unexpected events that crop up when you least expect them at the most inconvenient time.
Instead of feeling bad. That you weren’t able to complete everything you set out to do, except. That there’s always room for constant improvement and that you simply can’t plan for every eventuality.