Proper time management is one of the ways that business owners juggle their busy days. Having a good handle on your schedule can drastically increase your productivity and boost your overall success. Sometimes it may feel like you're drowning in a million things a day but buy analyzing and modifying your schedule, you can find more time and maximize your day.
Clear your brain
Before you whip out your calendar, step away from your desk and clear your head. Forget about things that need to be done or other brain clutter that could create biases when looking at your schedule.
Take a second look at your schedule
Before you take on anything else, you should examine your calendar to see how your time is currently being allocated. Be thorough when going through your schedule and keep it real with yourself. By doing this you can pinpoint potential errors and determine what can stay and what needs to go.
Accept ownership of your schedule
You are in full control of your calendar and means that you have complete say so over what you want to put on it. Learn how to respectfully decline new appointments and only take on things that you can realistically stay committed to.
Plan your day
Plan every day and determine your priorities. When you know your priorities for the day you will be better prepared to reset your work schedule if the unexpected comes your way. Try to plan your day the night before.
Do the hard stuff first
One of the best tips that helps with time management is to schedule all the difficult task at the start of your work day. When you start work, you usually have more energy than at the end of your work day. By scheduling your more taxing things first, you'll have more energy to get them done. The end of your day will also be more enjoyable.
Bundle Your Tasks
If you have tasks that are similar or close by try to group them in the same time groups. For example, if you have to meet with a client at the office and make a deposit at the bank up the street then schedule those two task within the same hour block.
Keep your schedule close
Always keep a copy of your schedule on you. This will make it easier to check it when new things pop up. You be able to accept or decline new appointments right away. Use your phone or a planner and keep them on you at all times.
Cross schedule when necessary
Cross scheduling involves scheduling work stuff at the same time as leisure activities. Sometimes when you're lounging around watching Netflix, you can whip out your computer and get some work done. This will keep you from falling behind on work and stay on schedule. But be careful with this. If you have planned "self-care" time, never mix work with that. That is your time to relax.
Distractions will throw you off of your schedule. If you have identified the sources of distractions that apply you then do your best to stay away from them. If Facebook is your weakness then keep your phone in another room and avoid opening it up on your computer while you are working.
The final piece of the puzzle is accountability. Share your tasks, priorities, and deadlines with someone that you trust. Meet with that person at least monthly to review how well you managed your time. The probability of success increases when you have someone watching your progress and coaching you cross the finish line.
Time will always be a precious resource but if you follow these steps you’ll find more time each day that you can spend on improving operations, staying ahead of the competition, and positioning your company for future growth.