Business tips

5 Time Management Tips for Small Business Owners

By Ashley Littles on
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time management

It could be that everything you've ever learned about time management is a waste of time. To get to a better understanding, you first need to know that time is defined as the point at which things happen.

Then you need to know the difference between "clock time" and "real time". All the time management systems you've been using are about managing the former, but we live in the latter.

Here are a some ways to manage your time as a small business owner.

Record What You're Actually Doing for a Week

Keep a schedule on for one workweek. Note down how you spend your time and how much you get done in a day. How much of what you do is productive? How much do you waste on thinking uselessly, talking too much, and aimless action?

Now Work Up a Real Schedule

Your new schedule will do things a little differently, depending on what you've learned about your own work habits. Set your time schedule up to include:

  • Half an hour every morning to plan your day.
  • Five minutes before every meeting or phone call to plan out hoped for results.
  • Appointments with yourself for productive thought, talk, and action.

Block out half of your time for the most productive thinking, talking, and taking action.

Protect Your Time

Practice letting the phone ring and leaving emails unread just to teach yourself whose schedule must go undisturbed at times. Fashion a "do not disturb" sign for your work area for when intense assignments need doing. Do all your social media stuff at home, unless it's for work; or set aside brief breaks to catch up.

Forget Multi-Tasking

Time experts all say that focusing on doing one thing at a time doubles your effectiveness. When you're the owner of a small business, that might mean the difference between winning and losing in the competitive marketplace. Your IQ falls a good ten points when you're distracted by too many calls, emails, or texts.

Set a certain time limit for focusing on one task, or just go until you complete it.

Don't forget the 80/20 rule: 80 percent of your real results are likely to come from only 20 percent of your thoughts, conversations, and activities.