Running your own business is no walk in the park. You may have to juggle multiple roles and put in long hours every day. This is why managing your time properly and ensuring that you're making the most of your work day is crucial to the long-term success of your company. After all, time is one of the only things in the business world that can be wasted without any hope of getting it back.
How do you get everything accomplished on a daily basis? It's all about time management. Here are a few small business tips for owners who are having trouble balancing their workloads with frequent interruptions.
1. Record important thoughts and conversations
You're probably used to being interrupted by meetings or important discussions that pop up throughout the day and require your presence. If you take the time to jot down what these meetings and conversations are about, you'll be able to look back on whether they ended up producing any results. When you're attending these weekly meetings, they become so routine that it's hard to see the big picture, so taking note of what goes on during them is a good way to identify any unnecessary discussions that are eating up your time.
For example, if you attend a creative marketing meeting every Wednesday, but notice from your records that these generally fail to lead to any positive outcomes, it may be time to either scratch these gatherings altogether or make better use of the time if you think that's the problem.
2. Use efficient organization tools
There are certain tools that you can rely on to enhance organization and increase productivity. Mobile apps, for example, make creating a structured calendar, sharing essential information with staff members and even creating presentations easy, all while on the go so you don't have to be present to communicate with your workers. Maura Thomas, experienced businesswoman and author of "Personal Productivity Secrets" told the National Federation of Independent Business that she suggests mobile app Evernote to small business owners who want to improve time-management skills.
3. Learn to be an effective delegator
One of the biggest obstacles business owners face is learning when to reach out for help from staff with certain projects when they become too much to handle. It's important to know when you're working on tasks that could be given to a staff member to allow you more time to handle more high-touch projects. That being said, you should also properly train and instruct your workers on how to complete these delegated tasks. When projects aren't done sufficiently, this could cause major setbacks that effective training could have prevented.
4. Avoid multi-tasking
Many business owners believe that multi-tasking will allow them to get more done throughout the day. However, research published in Psychonomic Bulletin and Review showed that only 2.5 percent of people are able to successfully multi-task, as one activity tends to be done poorly. Many time management experts suggest focusing on one task at a time to reduce the chances that one project will have to be redone.