Business owners know better than most that time is money. The struggle is real for most business owners when it comes to work-life balance.
Working on and in your business, meeting family responsibilities, taking care of yourself, having fun, and relaxing are supposed to be on your daily agenda, but with only 24 hours in a day, this seems impossible.
Time management is achievable only if you give it the organization and dedication it requires.
- Make a to-do list. Creating a list is the simplest way to keep track of everything you need to accomplish in the run of a day. Writing your tasks down will free your memory from the responsibility of keeping track of everything you have to do, while allowing you to set the importance of each item and pay attention to deadlines.As a bonus tip, rank the hardest items on your to-do list near the top and work to get those items completed first. Once you complete an item on your list, be sure to cross it off. You will feel satisfied for completing a task, and you will gain the motivation to keep working towards the feeling of self-pride that comes with crossing another item off your list.
- Buy a planner or use an online calendar. A daily planner is a good place to store and keep track of all your upcoming appointments and events. There are a number of options as to which type of calendar you choose to use, including a physical copy of a daily planner, a Smartphone calendar, Google’s free calendar service, or a calendar linked to your email. If you choose an online calendar, set up alerts and reminders to give you proper notice for upcoming events so you are ready and prepared.
- Manage time in increments. Break your day down into small intervals of time, such as half-hour or one-hour increments. Scheduling certain tasks within a designated time frame will keep you on track to finish up in a timely fashion. The increment system provides you with the flexibility to schedule in appointments and include break times to ensure you’re setting aside time for yourself and your well-being.
- ‘Do not disturb’ measures. Everyone has a time-wasting vice in their life. In today’s age of constant communication and connection through email, text, social media, video conferencing, and phone calls, it’s easy to get wrapped up in activities separate from your work agenda. Identify your time-wasters and schedule blackout times in your timetable so your focus is kept solely on the task at hand.
- Learn to say no. Turning down a request or favour can be extremely difficult, but sometimes it is entirely necessary. As a business owner, it is important not to stretch yourself too thin. When you receive invitations, and before you decide to attend, take the time to evaluate how your business will or will not benefit in the long run from your commitment or participation.
- Delegate. Business owners often find it hard to delegate tasks within their business operations. Several reasons, including fear of relinquishing control and a lack of confidence or trust in others’ abilities, can keep you from moving forward. Because of this, you may end up doing everything on your own.If there are other employees, or if there are operations in your business that can be contracted to other companies, delegating tasks could be highly beneficial as it could relieve stress and anxiety, free up your schedule, and increase employee and workplace morale.
- Make time for fun. Burnout occurs when a person encounters too many sources of stress with too little sources of satisfaction in their life. To avoid burnout and other unfavourable symptoms from overwork, include time in your schedule for you. Getting out of the office and away from work-related duties will refresh your mind, foster creativity, and keep you feeling positive and motivated to stay on track.
When creating your approach to time management, remember to find a system that works for you. Time management is a learning experience. Once you get comfortable scheduling your day, you’ll better understand how you operate and what keeps you motivated.