5 Time Management Tips For Small BusinessesA brochure on your bulletin board catches your eye, reminding you that today’s the registration deadline for that conference you’re thinking about attending. While this task is technically urgent — you must decide today whether or not to go — it’s probably not the most important thing you need to accomplish today.
As this example demonstrates, it can be easy for entrepreneurs and small business owners to get lost by chasing the most pressing tasks, instead of managing their time more effectively. That’s where a recent post on the OPEN Forum small business blog can help. It offers several time management tips for small business owners.
- Plan your day ahead of time: For a more successful day, create an action plan the night before, listing the major tasks you would like to accomplish, and a set time when you can attend to each of them.
- Prepare for interruptions: No matter how carefully you schedule your day, something always pops up at the last minute, requiring you to change your plans. To prevent these interruptions from ruining your day, mentally and physically prepare for an hour or two of unknowns. Try keeping a couple of hours flexible in your daily schedule, and have a plan B ready for your day in case you need to drop everything to resolve an issue with a vendor, employee or customer.
- Break down large projects into smaller pieces: When you start your workday, begin by breaking down your most important project into manageable sections. Then, tackle the toughest pieces first, leaving easier, less stressful tasks for the end of the day when your energy is lower.
- Keep to-do lists simple: Whether you write down tasks on paper or use electronic lists on your mobile phone, small business owners often have to-do lists overflowing with a mixture of both work and personal items. Looking at the whole list can be paralyzing. One strategy is to limit yourself to three tasks at a time: Once you cross off all three, you can add three more. This way, you feel like you’re accomplishing something and can move on.
- Reward yourself with breaks: Every 45 or 60 minutes, it’s important to get away from your desk for a few minutes. Healthy options for your breaks include taking a short walk, stretching or getting a drink of water.
Most small business owners have busy schedules, but following the above tips can help you ensure that you use your time as efficiently as possible.
What tricks, tools and technologies do you use to manage your time effectively and keep your day on track? Let us know by posting in the comments section!
Source: OPEN Forum, April 2013
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