Managing our time is one of those things that we all assume that we can do when we don’t have to. As an employee, to an extent, your time is managed. You clock on and off at set times, you have tasks to complete during your day, and you might even be given deadlines and time frames within that. It’s one of the things that many people struggle with when they first start working for themselves or launch their own business. Suddenly, there aren’t enough hours in the day, they can never stop working, and their to-do lists just keep on getting longer.
It’s fair to say that starting a business is tough and that even running an established business can mean long days and giant to-do lists. But, learning how to manage your time, and the time of those that work for you can be a massive help. It can help you and your team to work more productively and get more done with your time, and it can even mean that you can get the odd early finish and a day off here and there. Let’s take a look at some ways that you can learn to manage your own time.
There are so many tools out there to help you to get organized. Try task management software to help you manage your work day to day, for delegating tasks and for keeping on top of those to-do lists. Find the tools that best suit your business and its needs, and try to keep processes simple, with tools that work well together, so that you don’t end up wasting more time dealing with issues and conflicts.
A lot of time is wasted by chatting to our colleagues, and generally procrastinating. Schedule regular short breaks, instead of just one lunch hour, and you will get more done when you are meant to be working.
Stay Off Social Media
Social media is the best way to waste time. You can go on to check notifications and suddenly find that hours have passed. If you want to manage your time well, leave social media for your breaks.
4. Limit Personal Items
One of the most significant distractions on your desk is clutter in the form of personal items. While it is nice to have a photo or a souvenir from a trip, it is important to limit yourself as much as possible. Three or fewer is a good number to help you to avoid distractions and stay focused.
Stick to a Routine
Working to a routine helps us to get into the right frame of mind. When you work for yourself, you can be flexible when you need to, but try to work to a routine when you can to help you to use your time more productively.
With so many tools and apps out there, it’s all too easy to forget the power of a simple list. Research shows that we are more likely to complete a task in good time if it is written down. Each morning, or at the end of the day before, write your to-do list so that you can get started quickly. It might help you to break tasks down into morning and afternoon, to list in order of priority, to get the jobs you don’t like out of the way first, or to add specific timeframes and deadlines to the tasks on your list.