3 Smart Tips on Time Management in Small Business
When you’re running a small business, it doesn’t take long to discover that one of the hardest aspects of management for small businesses is time. Large and small businesses alike have the same responsibilities: administration, customer service, product development, meeting customer needs, maintaining an online presence, and much more. They also have the same amount of time available in a work day (8-9 hours). The advantage of large companies, when it comes to tackling this list of tasks within the time constraints of a typical work day, is a larger amount of resources at their disposal as well as a larger team to receive delegation. For small businesses with limited resources and staff, the focus becomes how to maximize their time.
Below we’ve listed three of our best time management tips to help small businesses manage their time well so they can increase productivity and essentially multiply their time.
Keep track of which tasks eat the most of your time
Before you can choose solutions that work the best for your small business, you must first identify the problems. For this task, a journal will be your best friend. When a person first discovers that he has a food allergy, the doctor usually will instruct him to keep a journal of all of the food he eats on a daily basis so he can pinpoint exactly what may have caused the allergic reaction. In the same way, you will want to set aside at least a week to keep track of every task you perform on a given day along with the time it took to complete the task. After doing this for a week, sit down and review which items ate the most of your time, which ones seem to be repetitive, which ones are distractions, and which ones aren’t as important as other tasks.
Organize your time
When it comes to saving time, organization is the key to everything. Clearly defining what you’re going to do and how you’re going to do it is the most effective use of what little time you have in any given work day. After completing the previous step of acknowledging where your time is going in relation to the tasks you have to accomplish on a daily basis, take a closer look at each task and order them from most important to least important. A lot of times some of the tasks on our list can seem important until you start comparing them to other items on your list. Then you can really begin to get a sense of how things add up together.
Once you have completed your list, assign time values to each task. Make sure that the items at the top of the list are assigned time values according to how urgently they need to be completed. As you view your tasks through the lens of urgency as well as importance, you may discover that you will need to reorganize your list. That’s a good thing. It means that you’re really getting to the heart of what should be prioritized in your work life.
There are many ways to tackle the organization of your time. You can do it on an hourly, daily, or weekly basis. You can allot your time in very specific detail, like we’ve suggested here, or you can just make a checklist in order of what needs to be done each day. You could even separate certain major tasks like billing, sales calls, or marketing to be reserved for specific days of the week. Whatever structure works for you, works for you. As long as there is structure to how you use your time and you have cut out or cut down on time wasters, you are managing your time well.
Organize your physical space
Did you know that there is a direct correlation between people in the workforce who keep their workspace messy and those who stay late at the office at least twice a week? Keeping a cluttered desk or office is a huge time waster. Imagine the time that could be saved each day simply by reducing the amount of times you have to search through mounds of papers on your desk for one specific paper. For some people, the amount of time saved would be quite significant!
Once again, before you can find a solution, you must identify the problem. What about your workspace is keeping you from being on task? Is your desk cluttered? Do you have a hard time getting rid of papers even if you don’t need them anymore? Do your office supplies seem to disappear every time you need to use them? Take a minute to really observe the space in which you work and locate those problem areas. Then tackle each one. If your desk is cluttered, clean it! Make sure that every paper has a designated folder (you may even consider color-coding the files) or pile and that your supplies have a home as well. And don’t be afraid to minimize and simplify. A well-organized workspace means a well-organized head space, which leads to more productivity.
There are many more tips on time management (automation being the biggest time saver) that we at Tuxedo Impressions LLC™ can help you with, but we hope that these tips can be a great starting point to help you manage your time in your small business. For more information on how we can help you maximize your time, contact us today!
~ S. Wasike, Team Tuxedo Impressions LLC™