If running a business makes you feel like there’s just not enough time to get everything done, you’re not alone.
Whether you ‘are’ your business, or you manage a small team, it’s always challenging to find enough hours in every day, while maintaining a healthy work-life balance.
Sometimes, the best you can do is more effectively manage the time you have available to work on as well as in your business.
We asked members of our Facebook group, I’m a small business owner in Western Australia, for their top tips on time management. Here is some of their collective wisdom…
Some business owners suggest using a number of lists or separate calendars for each area of their life or business - or you might prefer to have one master list. Whether you use an app on your smartphone, a diary, a whiteboard or the back of an envelope, the key is to get everything down in writing. This way, you can see what needs to be done at a glance, rather than relying on your brain to remember everything.
Set your priorities
Once you’ve worked out what is on your ‘to do’ list, you can identify what actually needs to be done. You might find you can outsource some of the items on your list, especially if there are tasks which are outside your area of expertise.
You can also work through your to-do list and determine what is urgent (needs to be done now) versus what is important (what takes you closer to your goals). Knowing this can help you to schedule your time to get the most from your day.
It’s important to learn when the most productive time of day is for you. You might prefer to be up before dawn to get started while your energy and focus are high. Perhaps you like to work at night when your household is quiet. Some of our members prefer to tackle their most important (or even most dreaded) tasks in the morning, which helps to set the rest of the day up for success.
If you know you’re likely to get distracted, plan ahead to help keep your focus. You might like to have certain times allocated to checking your email or social media feeds, so these don’t get in the way of what you really want to achieve that day.
Examine how you spend your time
Are you wasting time, killing time or investing your time in your business? It’s often important to set boundaries, particularly if you work from home in a busy household. Try to set aside dedicated work hours and let your family members know when you will and won’t be available.
Find out more
If you would like to spend more time working on your business instead of in your business, take a look at our upcoming small business workshops or read this blog article with a 5-step plan to work on your business.
You might also like to join our Facebook group, I’m a small business owner in Western Australia, where you can join in conversations and share advice with other local small business owners.