Time is the most precious asset businesses have on their hands. With the proper management of this resource, many businesses can sustainably grow their businesses. Using time properly makes it possible for a business to do so much more than sustain itself. For instance, a business can use the extra time to make improvements that will set the business apart from the rest of the competition.
A business can also handle all its incoming requests and orders from customers more effectively when it is conscious of how time is spent. Knowing how to manage time when starting a business is very important, and why we have created the following tips.
Without proper planning, a business will not be able to accomplish much. It will find itself lagging, and most of the important things and tasks that it has to undertake will often be ignored. As a result, the business will not reach its goals, and the competition will quickly overtake it.
Distractions are also in the way of a business that is not aware of the importance of time. With these distractions comes a laxity which means that nothing much gets done by the business, and the customers’ needs are not met.
Businesses need to be more aware of the distractions in their way to ensure that they can sidestep them on their way to success. Time management for small business owners does not have to be much of a challenge, provided the following important tips are followed and kept in mind.
How to manage time when starting a business
Let us check out the best 8 ways to manage time when starting a business.
1. Grouping Tasks by Project Type
Small businesses need to make a clear difference between the various projects that need to be accomplished. By grouping all the tasks according to the type of project, the business can easily manage its time. Being able to sort the tasks that need the business’ attention ensures no mix-up or entanglement for the business.
Additionally, the business gets to do much more when it has grouped tasks, as each group can be assigned a time in which it will be attended to. The groups of tasks can also be assigned to different people or teams, ensuring that they are completed on time.
Projects are completed on time when the tasks and activities involved are also completed in good time. The people in charge of each task will keep in touch with the other people and inform them as soon as the deliverables for each phase of the project are ready. This coordination saves the business a load of time as the individuals know when they are ready to proceed with the next stages.
Clear separation between the tasks also allows for the tasks to be given a priority, making attending to each more straightforward. More important tasks are given a higher priority, ensuring that all the important phases of the projects are given greater attention.
2. Daily Schedule
A day-to-day schedule is another important time management tip for small businesses. The businesses that plan how each day is supposed to go will be more successful and on track with all their projects. A schedule ensures that each task has been assigned a period during which it needs to be done.
With a schedule, the business can also sort the tasks that need to be completed to ensure that all dependencies are scheduled to be completed on time. If one part of the project depends on the output of another phase, the task that produces the output will be scheduled before the latter task.
A daily schedule is also used to ensure that all the time has been properly spent and none of it has been wasted. In case there are any changes, these can be integrated into the schedule more quickly, thus preventing any interruptions in the projects that are being undertaken by the business.
A small business must have a plan of what it needs to do within a specified time frame. The schedule ensures that all the orders from the clients and customers are met in time. Additionally, the individuals involved in the projects can do much more when they are more organized and coordinated.
3. Be Prepared for Distractions
Distractions are the time-hungry nuisances that will blow themselves out of proportion to attract your attention. They are nagging on your productivity, and their main objective is to tear you away from the work you are so dedicated to. Be ready for these distractions are they are always present and will try to catch your attention all the time.
The distractions will try to seem more important than what you are currently working on. As such, they will often eat into your productivity and quality of work if you pay any attention to them.
Distractions will also interrupt your work quite a lot, and when you learn how to recognize and deal with them, you will have more time on your hands. The distractions will be easier to ignore as giving them any of your attention will derail you from whatever you are currently working on. You must be aware of distractions and learn how to ignore them until you have completed what you are currently working on.
Additionally, spare some time on maintenance tasks that will take care of the constant interruptions that might be eating into your day. If there is mail to be answered, spend some time crafting replies for all your emails and ignore emails when you are busy with your other tasks.
When you block out other priorities when working on something in your small business, you will give the task maximum attention. As a result, you will not have to compromise on quality whenever you produce something for your clients. Your time will also be more organized, and your tasks will get the proper attention they deserve.
4. Dive into Deep Work
When you have all your attention and concentration on the task at hand, there will be nothing that will be able to get in your way. Your productivity will also be improved, and you will be able to meet all your schedule needs without delays.
Diving deep into the work that has been cut out for you ensures that you complete what has been scheduled and avoid going back to the same task over and over again. Additionally, focused attention on any task you undertake will ensure that you only have to do it once.
Staying busy on the task at hand also ensures that you have a clear vision of the entire project and the much progress that is being made on it. You will also be able to fight off all distractions and attention-seekers that might intend to get in your way while you work.
Deep work ensures that you get a lot more done which translates into greater progress for your business and timely completion of all your projects.
5. Prioritize with a To-do List
All your priorities need to be put in check, and the easiest way you can accomplish this is through to-do lists. These lists ensure that you know what needs to be done and let you check off each priority as you handle it. The use of to-do lists ensures that your project is on track and complete all that needs to be done on time.
Additionally, being aware of your priorities ensures that you can sort your tasks properly. The priorities will ensure that your schedule is more organized and dedicated when you are most productive on the priority tasks.
Once you have taken care of the priorities, the rest of the project will be easier to carry out. The priorities will have gotten out of the way, and any final touches that need to be made to your product will be handled next. The use of to-do lists also ensures that you know what needs your attention and what has not been done.
Planning your resources using these lists also enables you to save more time on your project. You will get more done when you have priorities in order, and your project will not be as hard or complicated as you would have perceived it.
A to-do list lets you take care of the greater dependencies of the project before focusing on the other tasks. With the list, you will be able to check off items that have been completed, and this lets you keep your eye on completing the project as opposed to any single task of the entire undertaking.
It would be best to focus on your priorities before giving your attention to any other aspect of the project, as priorities take up more time. They also require more dedication and will not need to be mixed up with any other task.
6. Create Time Blocks to Focus your Efforts
Your efforts are channeled more easily when you have blocks of time during which to accomplish certain things. For instance, a task that needs your full attention will need to have a block of time where it is the only thing at hand.
Blocking time ensures that anything that is not important at the time is ignored. As such, you will be able to use your time in better ways. Time blocking is also an important technique for getting rid of any distractions that might be getting in your way.
It allows you to block out all the other tasks that need your attention and as a result, your efforts will be channeled and focused on the task at hand.
7. Keep Daily and Weekly Planning Separate
Daily tasks and weekly goals should be kept separate from each other. The daily tasks are usually completed at the end of the day, while the weekly goals can be stretched out over several days.
As such, they are distinct goals, and the planning for your days and the week should be kept separate. Planning for your week and your day should not be done simultaneously, and you should mark all the tasks as daily or weekly goals.
Daily planning takes care of small tasks such as answering calls and replying to emails. You should not put the tasks in your weekly planner as they are the tasks and routines that need to be attended to in the day.
Weekly planning lets you take care of tasks across the week and anything that you accomplish during the day contributes to the weekly tasks. Planning for weekly tasks lets, you roll over tasks that haven’t been completed in the day to the next day.
With daily and weekly planning, you will be more in charge of your tasks, and your projects will be completed on time.
8. Caution: Do not do Too Much at Once
Word of caution. Doing too much at once can be detrimental to your productivity, and your projects will not be complete on time. Your energies and efforts will only be focused on blocks, and there are times when you will be too worn out to do anything useful.
It is dangerous to assign too much work to certain individuals or teams as this will tire them out quickly. As a result, you must distribute your work evenly over the time that you have available. This way, you will not suffer from fatigue, and your productivity will be uniform over the tasks.
Assign the amount of work that can be completed comfortably to individuals in your team. The rest of the tasks can be scheduled for other durations when they are feeling more productive.
Meeting regularly to address pain points and issues or challenges that you are facing will also be useful for the scheduling and will ensure that your projects are completed properly.
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Time management is very important for small businesses, ensuring that the business stays productive. The projects and goals are also accomplished more easily when they are more organized, and all the tasks are scheduled in the available time.
With proper time management, the business can get a lot more done in the same amount of time which adds to its overall productivity. With the tips provided above, your small business will get rid of distractions and maximize its productivity.
Bijay is an entrepreneur and start-up founder having more than 14 years of IT industry experience. He is the co-founder of TSInfo Technologies, a SharePoint development company.
A dedicated professional and very passionate about public speaking and also wrote thousands of technical blogs in various technologies. He also wrote a lots of blogs on entrepreneurship, investment, startup, business, manage money tips, etc.