I am certain if we could buy more hours to make the day longer, we would simply fill it with more tasks. So the secret then lies in how to do we make the best use of the time that we have. Here are my best tips for time management when you run your own business:
1. Set your working hours. This is critical when you work at home. It is so easy to get side-tracked during the normal working day only to tell yourself that you can keep working later in the day. It is vital that you create boundaries around your work time.
2. Start your working day by creating a list of priorities. Establish that this is what you need to achieve today. Once you have done the work on your list, try and walk away from your office and take a break.
3. When you work from home and need to go out to see clients, set certain days for being home-based and certain days for attending meetings. It is often really helpful to keep Monday as a home-based day as it can help set you up for a productive working week as you can get organised rather than flying out to the door.
4. Your inbox is not your task list. Do not let incoming emails distract you from your list of priorities. Constantly reading, responding and actioning emails will soon eat up your time and you will not get the work achieved that you had already planned to do.
5. Build travel time in to all your meetings. If you arrive late, it not only creates a negative impression but you will be flustered and not performing at your peak during the meeting.
6. Don’t be endlessly available. This applies to both phone and emails. If you have set aside some time to complete a task, it is ok to not take a call or immediately respond to an email. Being constantly interrupted will inevitably distract you and the task will never get completed.
7. Learn to set aside some time in your day for urgent tasks. If you know that things frequently pop up in your business then create both time and space so that you are able to attend to them as easily as possible. Knowing you have the time set aside will take the worry out managing your day and time.
I hope that you will try and put some of these tips in to place. I know that you will find yourself feeling a lot more organised and productive if you are better able to manage your time.