It’s no secret that business owners/managers need to find better ways to manage their time. The issue of time management has been at the forefront of business for quite some time, which has led to a long list of time-saving strategies to work from and thus allowed us to identify the strategies that work the best. We found that there are three valuable aspects of effective time management that business owners should keep in mind:
- Efficient personal organisation.
- Keeping a project list handy.
- Keep redefining your job, continuously, as the business grows.
As you may have guessed, personal time management is very closely linked to paper management. If you are having paper management problems, use the TRAF method. Toss is out, then refer it to someone else to take care of, act on it yourself and finally, file it in a convenient place for any future action or reference. This system avoids any constant fire fighting that usually consumes the time of most business owners.
Dealing with a problem as it arises prevents important decisions from piling up to an overwhelming point. Furthermore, you should regard private time during your working day as almost obsolete. As the head of a business, you are required to be available to handle any questions or problems that arise anytime. However, you should try to get a little time to yourself to organise your personal priorities.
If you’re a business owner you’ll likely be running a million different projects all at one time, whether these be inside your company or outside. Understandably, you’re likely to lose track of how close to completing a project you truly are. Let’s face it, there’s nothing more embarrassing than a customer calling you about a project you completely lost track of. So, this is the point where you need to make a simple list of projects you’re working on and the initials of the person or people working on the relevant projects, the date of referral and the date of expected completion. Additionally, if you’re working on large projects, you should try and break these into manageable benchmarks. Keeping a list like this will help you to manage your time better across all projects and you’ll be able to easily see where you are at each stage in your projects.
Top tip: Keep referring back to your list and follow up regularly.
Redefining your role
At the start of a business, every business owner has to take on many tasks they never realised they’d be responsible for. However, as the organisation grows, other people come in and responsibilities change and this is crucial to business growth. Failing to continuously redefine your changing role prevents you from accomplishing tasks efficiently and you inevitably take on more than you can handle.
If you continue to allow things to get on top of you, you can start to exhibit physical symptoms such as high blood pressure and depression. This is why managing your time efficiently is so important for your business and your personal life. When you feel that you’re taking on more than you can manage, take an honest look at your workload and identify tasks that you wouldn’t consider your strong suit. The true test of a successful business owner is knowing when you can complement your skills by hiring others who can take over certain key roles.
As a business owner, it is vitally important to take ownership of not just your time management, but the businesses too. Therefore, if you stick to the three techniques mentioned in this article, you’re on the right track to a well-run business and a personal life that is your own.
If you’re looking for additional business advice, get in touch with ActionCOACH today.