Whether you are starting your own business or managing your business day to day, one of the most common complaints by business owners is that “there’s not enough time for me to do everything I need to do.”
The day only has 24 hours, and time is a very valuable resource that cannot be wasted when you have to plan, attend to customers, suppliers and employees, manage billing and payments, and deal with the surprises that can arise daily in any business.
You can’t stop the clock or do twenty things at the same time, so organization and good time management are the most important tools for completing your daily agenda without stress.
Here are five tips to help you manage your time effectively:
- Make a list of pending tasks: Just as an army doesn’t go into battle without an established plan of attack, you cannot take on the daily battle for business success if you are not organized. Establish your priorities and make a list of what you want to do during the coming month. Then, review the list and decide what you need to do in the coming week. Finally, divide the weekly activities by day of the week. Include personal issues on the list, such as exercising or going to sporting events or other activities. When a task is completed, cross it off the list and you will see how much you can accomplish in a work day.
- Use technology to get organized: There are calendar tools in your e-mail system — whether it is Outlook or Gmail — and agendas and applications available on your smartphone to help you organize your daily activities and meetings. Get used to using these tools and you will see that you will soon feel that you are getting more out of your time each day. For more information about possible apps, read the article 10 Apps to Manage Your Business.
- Establish routines: Whether it’s for lunch, taking breaks or exercising, establish a routine for daily activities that are important for you and your health. Take advantage of these times to distract your mind from pending business matters. It is important to let everyone know that during this time you prefer not to attend to business issues, unless it is an emergency.
- Learn to delegate: It is important that your business can function when you are not present. Train your employees and give them the tools they need to be able to perform their roles while you attend to other issues. Remember that you are not a superhero and someday you will have to take a day off for illness. When that happens, the business should continue running as always. To learn more about how to delegate, read the article The Benefit of Delegating Responsibility.
- Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today!: Many times we postpone certain responsibilities that we find unpleasant and in the end we have to do them when we are rushed and in a bad mood. Try to dispense with these activities first so you can dedicate your time and effort to other responsibilities. Establish a simple filing system in your desk or work area so you can clearly see what is pending and try to complete those tasks as soon as possible.
By implementing these tips into your daily routine, you will see a difference in your work. You will feel that you are up to date with your work responsibilities and not working on issues at the last minute. The best part is that you will have more time to take care of personal things and share with your family.