Small business owners and solopreneurs are eternally challenged to get the most done with the limited time available. With responsibility for all aspects of their businesses, using time—or not using it—as wisely as possible can mean the difference between success and failure.
If you or someone you know is struggling to keep up with all there is to do in managing a business, adopting some good time management habits can help.
Time Management Tips For Small Business Owners And Solopreneurs
Say Goodbye To Multitasking
Unlike the word implies, “multitasking” doesn’t help you get multiple tasks done more quickly. In fact, studies have shown that it kills focus and people get less done, not more, when they attempt to multitask.
This may seem like stating the obvious, but it’s easy to get distracted from doing what’s most important when you’ve got a long list of to-dos. Consider deadlines and the financial impact projects and tasks will have as you decide which should get your attention first.
Intentionally dedicating time on your calendar for projects and tasks will help you stick to your priorities and meet deadlines. It can also help you better identify when you’re over-committing.
Outsource When It Makes Sense
Speaking of which, another way to avoid over-committing is to outsource tasks that are keeping you from revenue-producing activities and that don’t specifically require you to complete them. Examples might include bookkeeping, writing and/or proofreading, social media, data entry, etc. Outsourcing work to an independent contractor or agency for even a few hours a month can help prevent you from getting overwhelmed.
Try A Tried-And-True Time Management Technique
Practicing the Pomodoro Technique or something similar to improve mental acuity could also help you make your time more productive. It involves breaking the time you work into a series of short intervals intermixed with short rest periods. The premise behind it is that you’ll stay more fully focused and not allow interruptions when on task because you’ll have set periods (held true by using a timer) of work and rest.
As the new year is upon us, now is an excellent time to gauge your time management skills. Did lack of productivity and organization hold you and your business back this past year? If yes, perhaps it’s time to pick up some new habits in 2015.
If you need a little guidance, you can always meet and talk with a SCORE mentor. Through our free mentoring services and one-on-one coaching, we’re here to help small business owners navigate the many challenges of entrepreneurship.
Happy New Year!