Every business owner knows that there’s never enough hours in a day, or days in a week. That’s why managing our time and efficiency is so important—but it also remains a challenge. As business owners, we have a lot on our hands. Managing the growth of our businesses, strategy, employees, and finances can be a lot to handle, especially on a day-to-day basis. Thankfully there are tried and true time-management tips that can help us prioritize tasks and get the most out of each working day.
Track Your Time
Before you change how you spend your time each day, it can be helpful to know what you’re spending most of your time on right now. Spend a week jotting down how much time you spend doing certain tasks each day. This can be difficult at first, but at the end of the week you’ll have more insight into what’s taking up your time. You might find that you spend a lot of time in meetings, catching up on emails, phone calls or running errands. These tasks, while important to maintaining a business can also be areas of inefficiency. Try to identify how you can balance your time between every day maintenance and time for strategic visioning and future planning.
Set a Schedule
Start the day by identifying specific tasks you need to accomplish. Working in 25-minute increments has proven to be successful for a lot of business executives. This means shutting off all distractions—cell phones, email, and in-person interruptions. Close your door and get to work. Working for 25 minutes straight without distractions helps us treat our time more efficiently. Take a five-minute break, answer emails that demand action, and start working again for 25 minutes. At the end of the day, you might be surprised at how much you’ve accomplished.
Plan on Free Time
We all know what it feels like to fall behind at work. Pretty stressful. Planning free time into your schedule can help you avoid this feeling of constantly being behind. Nothing goes exactly as planned. So, your free time can be used catching up on things that haven’t been completed, or for unexpected meetings or important conversations. This free time can also be used to think about the future of your business and brainstorm goals for the next several months. We can get so caught up in the daily tasks of running a business that growing our business takes the back seat.
Delegate and Walk Away
As business owners, employees can be our greatest assets. The greatest thing we can do for our businesses is to trust our employees. We’ve hired our employees for a reason, now it’s time to let them do their jobs. When it comes to running a business, delegating tasks is one of the most important things to learn how to do well. When we learn which tasks to delegate and who to give them to, our schedule opens up dramatically and we actually have time to build the business we’ve always imagined.
Our team at Quadrivium Advisors knows how difficult managing time can be! Don’t get overwhelmed—we’re all a work in progress. What helps you manage your time?