Managing your time as a small business owner is crucial if you want to stay focused on achieving your goals. It’s easy for small business owners to feel overwhelmed and struggle to stay productive on their most important work. In this article I’m going to share 5 actionable time management tips for small business owners.
These 5 time management tips for small business owners have been created from my experience as a time management coach, working with entrepreneurs and small business owners.
These simple time management tips will help you slow down your work, keep track of your time, overcome procrastination and help you prioritise your time effectively.
If you’re a small business owner, either working by yourself or with a small team, you can probably relate to the feeling of not having enough time.
Whether that’s juggling endless tasks, wearing multiple hats, worrying about cash flow or managing a team.
If you’re a small business owners who currently feel like you don’t have enough time, these time management tips will help you achieve bigger results in less time without the stress.
Benefits of time management for small business owners
There are many benefits of better time management for small business owners. When you can effectively manage your time you can set better goals, plan ahead, reduce stress, avoid distractions and stop multi-tasking.
Good time management will help your small business achieve greater productivity, identify your big time wasters schedule your time effectively and focus more time on your biggest opportunities.
Effective time management skills for small business owners
There are a number of effective time management skills for small business owners, which include:
- Goal setting
- Strategic thinking
5 time management tips for small business owners
Here are 5 time management tips for small business owners.
1. Change how you think about time
We all have the same 24 hours in a day.
Some of the small business owners I work with were working eight or nine hour days before they started working with me.
They were filling their time with stuff and simply stretching time because they believed working harder and longer was the path to growth.
The thing is, working less on the right things is the way to go.
Time is elastic.
It can fill up our day if we let it.
But, it is a choice where you want to invest your time.
This time can be invested in your biggest opportunities in your business or on stuff that doesn’t move the needle.
It can be spent working longer or with the people who matter most.
Where you invest your time is a choice.
If you think you don’t have enough time, maybe the value of your time is not enough of a priority.
2. Take a time audit
It’s difficult to change your relationship with time if you don’t know where you’re spending it.
Invest the time to understand exactly where you’re spending your time right now.
Start with writing down every activity you’ve undertaken in the last 28 days, big or small.
Alongside each activity write down how much time you think you invested on the activity.
It doesn’t have to be exact right now.
Then identify the value of the activity.
Ask yourself three questions:
- Does this activity make money?
- Do I enjoy this activity?
- Am I doing my best work with this activity?
By conducting this time audit you will get clear on how much time you are investing in activities that you love to do and actually grow your small business.
It will also show you the time investment in activities that don’t really grow your business.
Then over the next 90 days aim to spend more time doing the work that grows your business and look to delegate or outsource the stuff that doesn’t.
3. Make time a priority
How we spend our time is a choice.
To multiply the results, we want with the time we have we need to make time a priority.
The simplest time management tip to implement is to start scheduling time and projects much more effectively.
But this focus only comes with being clear up front on the outcomes you want to achieve.
When you have this clarity it helps you stay focused.
Some of the simplest prioritisation tips for small business owners include:
- Lay out your five goals for the week on a Sunday night
- Write down three things you want to achieve each day
- At the end of the day, write down three things you achieved
- Then, lay out three things you want to achieve the next day
- Use time blocking to focus time on one single task or project
4. Avoid procrastination
Procrastination and perfectionism are huge time wasters that keep small business owners stuck and trapped.
The key to overcoming procrastination is to simply get moving.
To take action on the activities that really matter.
We all want to build momentum and feel motivated in our business.
The way to do that is to focus on making progress.
We feel happy and confident when we are growing and making progress.
Start managing your time so you feel like you’re making progress every day.
Simplify your task list so you achieve something every day.
Achievement creates positivity which builds momentum.
When we spend our time procrastinating or on low value tasks we don’t feel like we’re making progress.
Change the narrative.
5. Set better goals
If you have 10 or 15 goals, you want to achieve each quarter you’ll run out of time.
When you have more than 10 items on your to-do list each day, you’ll probably run out of time and won’t finish them.
Then, if you’re like many small business owners, you’ll beat yourself up for not finishing your to-do list.
Managing time effectively starts with effective goal setting.
Effective goal setting starts with having a small number of measurable goals to achieve within a specific time frame.
Having a small number of important goals stop distraction, saving time.
It creates more focus, meaning you’re not wasting time chasing shiny objects.
If you want to set better goals, start with identifying five measurable goals you want to achieve in the next 90 days.
Then laying out the first step to take.
These 5 time management tips for small business owners were created to help you, the business owner, free up more time.
When you can manage your time effectively you will have more time to grow your business and more time to spend with the people that matter most.
Try one time management tip to get started.
Let me know in the comments how you get on.
About the Author
Mark Pettit is a time management coach based in Colchester, Essex, UK. His time management coaching company helps small business owners in Colchester, Essex, Suffolk and across the UK simplify their time, energy and focus so they can multiply their freedom, impact and results.
Get more articles, tips and tools to help you simplify your time to multiply your results on the blog.
Sign up to my Time For What Matters newsletter.
Grab your free Productivity Mastery Daily Planner to 10x your productivity and achieve your goals quicker.