Essential Time Management Tips

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By Mike, Trisha & Arianna Fox

Do you ever feel like you just don’t have enough time in your day to get everything done? Do you get distracted with emails or social media – or even cute cat videos – and lose track of time? 

Small business owners often have so much to do on a daily basis that it’s essential to prioritize and use their time as wisely as possible. In this article we’ll share 12 quick tips to help you save time. Because as a small business owner, you already know that time is money. As Jim Rohn said, “Either you run the day, or the day runs you.”

1. Plan Your Day – Plan your day ahead of time and know what you need to get done for the day. Set up your calendar so that you know what needs to be done daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, or yearly. When you plan things ahead of time, events don’t come as a surprise to anyone and tasks aren’t forgotten or lost. It is also helpful to use technology to your advantage, setting up reminders and alerts so that you don’t forget anything.

2. Prioritize – List everything you need and want to get done and then prioritize, so you know which things need to get done first and which things absolutely must get done that day. Decide which tasks are not as important and can be pushed to the bottom of the list. You can also plan to have short breaks, set a timer for a certain amount of time for doing something enjoyable after getting a certain amount of work or tasks done. Then you can get right back to it!

3. Keep Essential Tools Handy – Do you ever start a task such as cleaning or building or a construction project, only to realize you forgot something or didn’t have the tools you needed? It saves so much time if you make sure you have everything you need before starting the job at hand. So know ahead of time exactly what you’ll need to get the job/project done, and make sure you have all those things ready ahead of time.

4. Don’t Create Extra Work for Yourself – Make sure you don’t create a lot of extra unnecessary busy work for yourself. Only do that which is essential and helpful for getting the job done. For example, don’t create extra lists, notes, intense detailed scheduling, etc. if it’s not especially helpful or essential. It’s easy to get distracted doing these other nonessential tasks, and taking time away from getting the actual work, the work that is necessary and essential, done. If it’s helpful or useful do it; if not, leave it.

4. Limit Your Distractions – When focusing on a task, try to limit other distractions. For example, if you’re working on a project on the computer, don’t get distracted by non-urgent emails or social media notifications, or by getting lost in nonessential websites or social media browsing. That could cause a distraction that could lead to another distraction that could lead to a lot of your valuable time wasted. For example, cute cat videos aren’t recommended when you have essential work that needs to get done.

So there you have it: twelve essential time management tips for small business owners. As Henry David Thoreau said, “It is not enough to be busy…the question is: what are we busy about?”

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