Whether you’re a business owner or a manager, there never seems to be enough hours in the day. Balancing your team, their needs, while tracking output can be a nightmare if you don’t have concrete processes in place. The biggest key in time management is prioritization. By dividing your to-do list into urgent tasks, short and long-term goals, you’ll be able to allocate your time more effectively.
Here are six of our favorite time management tips for business owners.
1. Prioritize communication-
Email is both a blessing and a curse. On one hand, it’s a way for team members to reach out to another, but can also be one of the biggest time sucks if you’re checking it every 10 minutes. Set aside a specific time to review emails. Not only will this keep you in the know, but allow you to knock out the tasks you need to throughout the day.
This is a suggested automatic reply so that people know you have received their email if they don’t get an instant reply-
Thank you for your email. In order to work more effectively I am checking my emails once per day at 10:00 am
I will endeavor to reply within 24 hours.
Thank you in advance.
2. Block off time-
One of the aspects of managerial roles involves being pulled in all sorts of directions. You’ll find yourself spending so much time on everyone else’s projects, with none left to complete your own. Block off portions of your daily or weekly schedule and dedicate it solely to your work. Make sure you don’t get booked for other engagements during this time and fully concentrate on the tasks at hand.
You can also use this technique to block off your day. Emails at 10. LinkedIn at 12.00….etc
3. Book meetings in chunks-
When it’s time to book meetings, try to clump them shortly after one another. This will not only keep you forcibly punctual but won’t break up the remainder of your day.
4. Re-prioritize on demand-
When you’re a business owner or manager, it’s important to be flexible. Each day presents a different challenge and prioritization is key if you want to keep your ship afloat. To organize yourself, determine which tasks are urgent and others that can remain on the back burner. From there, build your list based on importance, time involved, or resources needed. You may have one project you can knock out in 15 minutes and another that will involve several days. For the projects that are drawn out, create checkpoints to keep yourself on track.
5. Be intentional with agenda’s-
Long, drawn out, ineffective meetings are the worst. Aren’t they? Because of your position, you have the power to change this. Give your meeting purpose by creating a simple, three-column table document. In each column, you can include topics, major discussion points, and action items. Personally, we love having a fourth column with the assignee included for follow-up purposes. When the meeting’s over, share the document with the team to keep everyone on the same page.
6. Utilize productivity resources-
No matter the size or industry of your business, project management tools are a must. Google Drive is a great way to distribute documents between offices and can be accessed from anywhere. More project-specific platforms like Asana and Basecamp are perfect for organizing tasks on hand based on timelines or assignees. For internal communication, Slack has introduced itself as an app to be reckoned with, cutting down on emails with its search capabilities and file management system. Other tools like Evernote are also wonderful for time management, keeping yourself organized. With multiple note taking features and document capture, it’s great for sharing spur-of-the-moment ideas across any device.