Learning how to manage time effectively is a hot topic these days for every small business owner I speak with.
They all want time management tips to manage their time effectively.
We all have exactly 24 hours in a day to work with, and how you manage the time you have during that period either sets you up for success, or it can leave you feeling trapped and frustrated.
So, why is it, then, that some of us are able to get a tremendous amount accomplished in a day, while others always feel they don’t have enough time?
The ones that get a tremendous amount accomplished have mastered time management skills.
They have learnt the art of effective time management.
Everyone wants to manage the time they have to deliver the biggest results they can.
How to manage time effectively
People who are good at managing time can make huge improvements in their business in a short period of time.
What difference would it make in your business if you could learn the best time management tips for maximising your time?
In this article I’ll share 10 proven time management tips that will help you manage time effectively.
They will help you create more time freedom to focus on your biggest money making activities, have time to plan for the future and have more time to spend with family and friends.
When you understand the importance of time management and effective time management it can transform the way you work.
Rather than thinking about time and effort you will transform your mindset to one focused on being productive and delivering results.
1. Manage time by conducting a time audit
When it comes to time management, the first step is to manage the time you have more effectively.
You can’t manage time more effectively until you have clarity on how much time you’re spending during the week on which activities.
This simple time audit is the cornerstone of effective time management.
It will give you a big picture view of the value you are creating and the results you are delivering V the time you are investing.
It also gets you clear on how much time you are really spending on specific activities versus how time much time you think you spend.
To get real insights, the time audit should cover a typical seven-day period.
A time audit makes you more productive
To manage the time you have start by writing down every activity for every day and the amount of time you spend on the activity.
At the end of the 7 days, total up the amount of time spent in each column and on each activity.
You will get clear on which activities are stealing your time and how your time could be freed up in the future.
2. Set 90 day goals
Goal setting is essential to any effective time management strategy.
When you’re clear on your specific, measurable goals it can filter out any activity that doesn’t support your goal achievement.
This helps you manage time effectively and makes you more productive.
Having this clarity can also reduce overwhelm and procrastination and stop you wasting time on activities and people that simply don’t support your goals.
Using quarterly, or 90 day goals, can boost your time management and productivity skills.
You have a specific time bound deadline to achieve your goals in, boosting focus.
Having a small number of goals to achieve during that 90-day period compounds focus further.
You are clear and confident about being able to manage the time you have, reducing mind clutter.
Many small business owners I know use SMART goals to support their goal setting strategy.
3. Manage time effectively by planning up front
Many small business owners feel like they have no time to plan for the growth of their business.
The reason they have no time is because they fail to see how important planning is.
Have you woken up with no clue what to do with your time or what to work on?
This feeling can be paralyzing and frustrating.
Instead of focusing on what needs to be done, you wander aimlessly from one low value task to another, simply filling up time.
That’s why planning can help you with effective time management.
Always plan ahead using one or all of these options:
3 Effective time management tips
Plan on Friday
Friday is a great time to take stock of your week.
Set aside 15 minutes or 30 minutes to write down your five biggest achievements of the week.
Then write down the five things you want to achieve the following week.
This ensures you start the following week with a clear plan of action.
Create an evening routine
Creating an effective evening routine could transform how you manage time.
At the end of the day, spend 15 minutes writing down three things that you achieved that day.
This ensures you end the day feeling confident that you have made progress.
Then write down three things that you want to achieve the following day.
Create a morning routine
Before you start the day, plan to be productive.
Review your three most important activities that you wrote down the previous evening and amend if necessary.
Use a planner to write this down to ensure you are focused on what you need to do.
4. Focus on priorities first
It’s very easy to drift onto lower value activities or social media at the start of the day if you don’t have a clear focus on your most important activities.
This can be a complete time suck and hours of unproductive time can easily pass.
When you focus on achieving results and are clear on your goals, you will naturally start with your most important work.
For many people, energy is high in the morning.
Take advantage of this energy and excitement by working on the activities that could transform your business.
Your most important clients. Important marketing activities. Meeting and speaking with new people. New innovations and services.
Manage the time you have by working on what matters most as soon as you can in the morning.
5. Find the right support structure
Managing time is easier when you’re not the person doing everything in your business.
However, for many small business owners, delegation can be tough as they feel other people can’t do the job as well as them.
But, you simply can’t grow if you handle everything yourself.
There is a different way to look at things.
You have unique strengths.
There are activities that you love to do, are great at and helps bring the money in.
But, there are also activities that you’re simply not good at, hate to do and take far more time than they should.
Find people within your team or external experts who have the skills you don’t have.
Give them the work that isn’t your expertise and you will free up a huge amount of time.
6. Control time by stopping multi-tasking
Task switching or multi-tasking can waste precious time.
You simply can’t stay focused on your most important activities if you keep switching your energy.
Try time blocking instead.
Choose your most important project and assign 50 minutes to work on it.
Then take a ten-minute break.
Continue with that project for a further 50 minutes and take a further ten-minute break.
Then take a 30-minute break.
Get back to the original project and complete the same process or move to a new project,
7. Leverage time by simplifying
How many items are on your to-do list today?
Ten, Fifteen, Twenty, More?
Having a long to-do list and getting to the end of the day with items not finished can sap your energy and confidence.
Simplify your to-do list to a smaller number of projects based on your most important work.
I suggest having a maximum of five tasks on your to-list each day.
Having a smaller number of projects each day, and successfully completing them gives you a confidence boost.
8. Start taking action and avoid perfectionism
So many small business owners I know are perfectionists.
Nothing is ever good enough so they tinker away at everything they’re doing until it is perfect, wasting a huge amount of time and energy.
But, there is no such thing as perfection.
It is an ideal made up in our minds.
Do the best you can and pass off the rest of the work to a team member or bring in an outside expert to finish the work.
This time management tip will transform how you manage your time.
9. Use procrastination to manage time
Everybody procrastinates. I certainly do.
Procrastination often happens because we have a big goal that we want to achieve but we simply don’t have the capability or know the action steps to take to get starter.
So we procrastinate and waste lots of time.
Instead look at the things you’re actually procrastinating on right now.
Ask yourself, what difference would it make if you actually took action on the thing you’re procrastinating on.
If the answer is a big difference but you’re still not sure how to proceed find someone to talk to about it or to help you take the first step to manage time effectively.
10. Eliminate more activities to free up time
Our time is taken up by activities that we love to do, are great at and bring in the money, activities we don’t mind doing and stuff.
When I mention the word stuff to my clients and network, people just get the meaning as we all have stuff we do that we don’t like.
So, to manage time effectively find a way to eliminate more stuff.
As a start, pick five things you want to eliminate in the next 90 days and create a clear plan on how you can eliminate those activities.
Now over to you.
What tip to help you manage time effectively are you going to take action on?
What time management tip that works for you have I missed?
Either way, let me know in the comments.