June 03, 2020
How can I improve my time management skills? That question must be at the top of every small business owner’s mind from time to time. If you’re one of them, the following list is for you. Below, we’ve listed some tips that may help you get super organised.
As a small business owner, you probably have goals for both yourself and your business. It doesn’t matter if you dream about growth, high performance or something else — what matters is that you write your goals down and reflect on them from time to time. Proper time management starts from defining your goals and marking down actionable steps to reach them.
So, you have 10 things you need to do and they all need to be finished by the end of this week? In this type of situation, it’s easy to get stressed and give up on everything. The trick is not to treat your tasks as equals, but to learn how to prioritise them. Every small business owner knows that time is one of the most valuable assets, so it’s important not to waste it on anxiety.
Make a list of everything you need to do and create a system for evaluating each tasks’ value and impact on your business. After that, it’s no longer “just a list”, it’s a super-prioritised agenda of your next steps.
If you started a business only because you wanted to escape the horror of deadlines at work, we’ve got some news for you — small business owners rely on deadlines as well. Whether you need to come up with a marketing plan or finish your product’s design sketches, don’t let yourself get too comfortable. Set a deadline and stick to it. Otherwise, you’ll be stuck in limbo, postponing your responsibilities and won’t get anything done in the end.
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The balance between your work and personal life is even more important when you’re a small business owner, because it’s hard to draw the line. Don’t read your emails while you’re cooking or make calls while going for a leisurely walk to clear your head. Making time for yourself and your hobbies helps you stay focused at work. And don’t forget lunch! Your brain needs the power of carbohydrates to operate at full speed.
It’s time to put a stop to all of the “I think I can make it work on Thursday” type of answers. If your schedule is full, don’t try to squeeze in another meeting or task. Rather than cluttering your days with this and that, divide your working hours as time-blocks for whatever you need to get done. So, as a small business owner (let’s say you own a 9-5 clothing shop), your working day may very well look like this:
Just like you plan your days, you need to plan the upcoming weeks, months and even think about your yearly outlook. To create a long-term plan, go back to the goals of your small business and backtrack all the necessary steps needed to reach them. Divide the steps into small and actionable to-do’s and voila! You have a plan.
Staying on schedule is easy for a week or two, but then reality hits you. You planned to work on next week’s plan, but a big delivery suddenly came in and messed everything up. Or maybe you lost your taxi receipt and can’t file your expenses with the accountant.
It’s important not to get stressed and give up. Take a breather, look how far you’ve come, compose yourself and keep going. If you want your small business to flourish, you need to stay organised.
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So, as you can see, proper time management isn’t actually that difficult, it just takes some practice. Go on, take the first step towards more organised and clutter-free workdays. And if you need a ride to get to the office, make sure to take Bolt. It’ll save you time and money.