Owning your own business is time-intensive, especially for those small business owners with limited resources and personnel. You wear many hats, and sometimes they can weigh heavily on your head.
It’s very important for small business owners to develop time management skills and actually implement them. This article may help provide some tips that you can use to put some order back into your day. You might even get a day off!
Suggestions for Making Better Use of Your Time
Let’s face it, you can’t do everything at once. You’ve certainly heard the term “multitasking” but, in reality, it doesn’t exist. The human brain cannot perform two tasks that require high-level brain function at once. You may think you’re multitasking, but what you’re really doing is switching your focus from one task to another, albeit in a split second.
A better method of getting more things done is to organize your schedule better. Instead of trying to juggle so many tasks at once, try the single-tasking method. Concentrate on completing one task at a time. You’ll be surprised at how much you get done with less stress.
Here are some ways you can organize your day and get more done.
1. Set Goals
You need to know where you’re at, where you’re going, and how to get there. That’s why it’s important to set specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound (SMART) goals. These goals need to be more short-term in nature because the small steps lead to the picture.
Take your long-term goals and break them up into smaller activities and tasks. One way to do that is to work back from the final deadline for the task or project to be completed. Take into account the dependencies of getting tasks done. For example, if task A must be done before task B can start, task A is a priority. When the tasks are small enough to accomplish in a day’s time, you’ve created a manageable plan.
Some business owners and managers may think they can accomplish more by “putting out fires” and addressing issues as they arise. Although there will be some of that during a normal day, it’s better to plan ahead.
Before you leave for the day, create your schedule for the following day. List all tasks you need to complete, with additional ones just in case you’re fortunate enough to finish the initial list. By starting each day with a solid plan, you can get going on them while you’re fresh in the morning.
You should allow some time in your plan for emergencies and ad-hoc meetings, but don’t deviate from it too much or it will become useless. Make sure you allow the time needed to create your schedule at the end of the day again.
You can plan and hope to get everything done on your list, but you’ll have days when emergencies arise. Your plan should be prioritized so that you attend to the most important tasks first.
There are several methods for prioritizing tasks, one of which is the POSEC methodology. POSEC is the acronym for "Prioritizing by Organizing, Streamlining, Economizing and Contributing." Its theory is to Prioritize tasks in the following order:
- Organize daily goals according to urgency and time available.
- Streamline tasks that can be delegated to others.
- Economize those tasks that you enjoy that need to be done.
- Contribute to society by giving back to the community. This includes addressing customer and employee complaints and concerns.
This is a very important element of time management that many managers find difficult. You must accept, however, that you don’t have enough hours in a day to do everything necessary to run your business. You will need to assign tasks to those who have the skills to get them done right. If you don’t have someone like that, you’ll need to subcontract them or train your staff accordingly.
5. Focus on the Plan
There are always distractions and emergencies that happen when the buck stops with you. To minimize those distractions, set aside time for reading email and making phone calls. If you’re interrupted, it takes longer to re-focus your efforts on the plan. You may have to limit access to you by setting specific times when you deal with non-urgent issues or delegate them to subordinates.
Accounting Is One Task You Can Delegate
When you’re considering which tasks to remove from your list, your business accounting functions can be done by the experts at Nolan Accounting Center. We offer tax planning and preparation, payroll processing, bookkeeping, business consulting, and all the accounting services your small business needs to succeed.
Take one thing off your plate so you have more time for other critical matters. Let Nolan Accounting take care of your accounting needs. Contact us today for a free consultation.