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We all know how important time is in our daily lives, let alone when trying to run your own business. As an owner, so much can happen in so very little time, like losing your money, and then getting it all back again, the only difference is you can’t get time back – when it’s gone, it’s gone. So you want to manage what you have and protect it as much as possible to ensure you’re getting what you deserve.
Log your time
Make a chart of all the work that you do, along with how long it takes you. – This is called time logging. You can do this on a mere sheet of paper, on the computer with applications like spreadsheet, or even get help from companies like netstar that will guide you through any problems you may have.
Plan from the moment you get up in the morning, up until when you go to bed at night. You want to track every single thing that you do in the day, along with the amount of time that has been spent. This won’t be helpful if you miss things out – so be as detailed as you possibly can.
Find the time wasters
When you can visibly see all the things that you are doing on a daily (working) basis, you will easily be able to see where you may be going wrong, by wasting time on things that don’t need to be done. Total up all your different tasks, and then you can categorise everything you do into different groups. This can include things like phone calls, emailing, meetings, breaks, general tasks, and any other things you do that may or may not be productive.
Essentially, the information you are looking to get from this is how you can save time in certain areas, giving you more chance to focus on the important things.
Give out the tools
Do not give out numerous jobs to your employees, if you’re not also giving them the correct training and preparation for completing the task. So if you do need to take a load off yourself by using employees (which is what they’re there for,) make sure that you’re equipping them with the right tools so they can get the job done in an efficient manner, without wasting any of that valuable time. An example of this is managing staff vacations. These are important to your team, so you should give them proper tools to request and track them. It saves you time managing it manually, and makes your employees feel like you care about them.
Apply the 80/20 rule
Eighty percent of your results will come from twenty percent of your hard work. So what you should be looking to do is increase the amount of time that you are spending every day, every week and every month, to ensure that you are putting a solid twenty percent of your efforts into your business. – When you think about it, that’s really not asking for much, but this is where you will be getting the best results for your company.
This is a process, as a pose to an instant fix, so keep applying it, and over time you should start to have a good understanding of how the system works.
Use the pomodoro technique
This method is very popular for people that have issues with time management. The idea is that you will set a timer for twenty-five minutes, while you work on one specific task that needs doing. Then take a quick five-minute break before starting the next task.
You don’t have to follow these exact rules though, as you can vary the time limits to what you need, and you can refer back to your time log to help you with this. If you know that your errand is going to take thirty minutes, set the timer to thirty-five, leaving you a five-minute gap in case you get a little held up. You can use this in all aspects of your business to keep you aware of how much time you’re using up.
Don’t get distracted
It is ever so easy to get distracted from your business. This can be anything from the job itself, to your personal life, friends and even children if you have any. It’s so important to remember that there is a time and a place for everything, and when you’re at work – you’re working.
Understandably, this is easier said than done sometimes because when you own a small business, it’s very easy to take it home with you every day – but this is where you start to cross the line between mixing business and pleasure – you should avoid this at all costs. So teach your brain how to switch off when you’re at home, and turn on when it’s time to work.