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Time is an irretrievable asset. Life moves to its end with no option of changing its flow. Time is what takes to do anything, and your small business is a time-consuming adventure. It takes time to plan a new business and time to build it and let it grow into a profitable business. You can make a bad deal and lose much money and then get a second chance and make a new deal to make even more money. There is to time to buy, but you can manage your time in a better way and save a lot of it and use the time in a better way for better purposes.
Below are my tips on time management for you as a small business owner.
1. Start with writing one all-day action.
To get a good view of how you spend your time, start writing one whole day activities. You can use your smartphone note app, it is handy and goes with you all day long, so if during the day you make changes on your original schedule, you can write it down right away. You can choose to do it on a sheet of paper or sit in front of your PC using a spreadsheet.
Start from moment one when you got up until the moment you turn off the light at your bedroom and go to sleep. Your mission is to put on writing down all your activities on this day. I mean every single moment of the 24 hours. Do not miss anything, so you will have a clear and real idea of how and what you did on this day. It should not be an extraordinary day. You should pick a typical workday, one of your routine days.
2. Identify what makes your big time waster.
Sleeping is as important as working, so turn off the lights at the end of the day and go to sleep your 8 hours of good sleep. Lake of sleep will affect your health and your performance on the next day.
Take your morning coffee while you review the results of yesterday’s activities log. You will see how and at what point of the day you lost time in things that are not essential for your business. Take the time record and note the activities that were categorizing the waste of time and the productive time. Summerize them and indicate the percentage of time you spent on each kind of activity.
Your goal is to find where you lose time, make it by categories like:
- Emails for work vs. those for social and personal contacts.
- Phone calls for work or private.
- Work meetings.
- Other nonproductive tasks.
3. Use the Pomodoro technique.
The Pomodoro technique is a time managing method that cuts the working time into 25minutes of work and five minutes breaks and again 25 minutes of work. In schools and Army training, it is a little different, Fifty minutes of class, and ten minutes of recess. It may be different for different people. There are some other concepts like “Deep Work” that may be good for more concentrated jobs like writing or other creative work where you need concentration and inspiration.
Cal Newport: Deep work is the ability to focus without distraction on a cognitively demanding task. It’s a skill that allows you to quickly master complicated information and produce better results in less time. Deep work will make you better at what you do and provide a sense of true fulfillment that comes from craftsmanship. In short, deep work is like a superpower in our increasingly competitive twenty-first-century economy. And yet, most people have lost the ability to go deep-spending their days instead of a frantic blur of e-mail and social media, not even realizing there’s a better way.
Putting the log of activities on a paper lets you see your good and bad points about your time managing and how you are utilizing the time. To start improving, you will need to start setting goals for your daily and weekly tasks in pomodoros for each job. You can build your schedule into less important pomodoros like checking emails, only ten pomodoros and marketing goals and tasks will get the priority of 30 pomodoros.
4. The 80/20 rule.
There is a rule about the work that one needs to do a complete job. It is the 80/20 percent rule that claims that to do 80% of the job, and you need to invest only 20% of the effort that is required to finish the job. It means that it is easy to do 80% of a job. It sounds that it is better to start a few jobs in the week and advance all of them to 80%. If you need only 20% of the effort for 80% of a goal, it means for 20% of the job, and you will need the other 80% of the effort. If you are looking for high-quality completion, you know that you will need to finish 80% before you have a real top quality job done.
5. Delegate, but do not abandon.
A small business could have a few employees or a few hundred. It depends on the country or industry. A business that has only a few employees will require some degree of delegation of responsibilities from the owner to the employees, while more extensive but yet small companies must have a broader level of the hierarchy.
When you delegate part of your responsibilities to someone else, it does not mean that you can forget about those responsibilities, it is still your business, you need to control what the employee that is now doing the work you use to do yourself. You need that person to report to you on the work he is doing or the problems he faces while trying to do these tasks that you used to do yourself.
Get someone to delegate too is a job that requires some attention from your side. After that, you found the right person you will need to train her or him to do the work and to adjust her or him to your workplace culture. Onboarding, a new employee, is a little project for itself.
6. Control your time with the employees.
To avoid your time being eaten by your employees, you need first to train and onboard them as good as possible. Please do not start to micromanage your staff, let them work, and resolve the problems by themselves. This way, they will help you and not become a weight on your time.
When you hire someone to take the responsibilities you had on yourself and liberate time for you to do other things that will help your company to grow. Some employees will not take-off on as good and helpfull workers and will call you too many times, taking your time instead of making for you more time.
Some good workers can kill your time because of are suffering from teacher’s pet syndrome, they will call you more then it is needed just because they what to show you how good they are.
You can locate your office away from the workers, or know how to keep to contact and have an open door but make it organized with enough time for yourself.
Remember that being the leader of the business in your part in the game.
The salespeople can burn your time if you let them do so. They will try to sell you anything they need to sell for their commission. Make sure that you can learn about new products without losing too much time. Accept sales representatives only after you got online the information that will help you understand if you can buy this stuff or equipment.
Spend time with the salesperson only if you are interested and have the money in what they are offering. Make sure to learn the technical and operational needs and the price before wasting your time on something that you can not buy.
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Disclaimer: John Wolf and paystubmakr.com are making a total effort to offer accurate, competent, ethical HR management, employer, and workplace advice. We do not use the words of an attorney, and the content on the site is not given as legal advice. The website has readers from all US states, which all have different laws on these topics. The reader should look for legal advice before taking any action. The information presented on this website is offered as a general guide only