Have you ever used the phrase, there just don’t seem to be enough hours in the day? Or do you often find yourself at 5 o’clock wondering where the day has gone and whether you have achieved anything? Are the weeks whizzing by yet you still feel you’re at square one?
These can all be made better with a little tweak and some essential time management skills. Here are my top 5 tips that could help:
To be effective and efficient, you need to plan ahead and in priority order. Every Monday I compile a weekly list of things that need doing by the end of the week. I also compile a daily to-do list of client tasks and the priority order they need doing in. Each time I achieve one I cross it off. (I do also have electronic task management software like Asana and Trello) This not only keeps me on track during the day but it also gives me a sense of achievement at the end of each week as I know what I have and haven’t done from my list. If possible, you could also indicate how much time you think each task might take or how much time you would like to spend on it.
2) Plan in distraction time
With the best will in the world, distractions happen. Factor in a small amount of time each day for unexpected visitors, phone calls, an internet crash, things like that. If none of these things happen then that’s great but at least you have a contingency plan for if and when they do.
3) Time blocking
Time blocking is a great time management tool that has helped many small business owners. Rather than multitasking and trying to do too much all at the same time, you block time in your schedule for dedicated tasks. For example, rather than checking and responding to emails constantly throughout the day, try blocking out half an hour each morning at 10 am and each afternoon at 3 pm. Anything received before or after those times will be responded to during the following time chunk. It’s not unreasonable for an email response to wait 24 hours.
4) Take time to reboot and recharge
How many times have you forgotten to eat anything all day because you’ve been so caught up with work? I know I do it. Before you know it, it’s 5 pm and you haven’t left your desk all day.
It’s proven that spending too much time in one position, whether that be at a computer screen or desk, is not good for either your health or your productivity rate.
Ideally, you should be having a 5 or 10-minute break every hour. A little and often is the best way and will help you feel more refreshed and ready for your next time block! It’ll give you the chance to stop, reflect on your goals, develop ideas and rest your brain. You’d be surprised what you can accomplish when you’re relaxed and chilled.
5) Delegate the tasks you avoid or don’t enjoy
This last tip is where someone like me comes in. We all have tasks we put off because we find them a chore, we don’t enjoy them, don’t have the time to do them or we’re just simply not good at them! For me, it’s anything financial. It’s not my area of expertise and I don’t enjoy it, so anything like that I delegate to a bookkeeper.
It’s the same for you. No business owner enjoys all aspects of their business or knows how to do them all. So, take a minute think. What jobs do you avoid or hate doing? What would you like to do in your business but you just have the skillset to achieve? All of these are tasks that you could outsource to someone like me. This leaves you free to spend your time on the tasks you’re good at and enjoy doing. Outsourcing doesn’t have to cost the earth. A lot of freelancers off ad-hoc, one-off project rates as well as monthly retainer rates.
I hope these tips have helped you and given you an idea of how to manage your time a little better. If you want to have a chat with me to see if I can help with any tasks you think you can delegate, then please do get in touch. I offer a FREE, no-obligation 30-minute chat so you’ve got nothing to lose. Alternatively, just pop me a message here or on Facebook and I’ll be more than happy to let you know your options.