Twelve mantras for good time management | SupportBiz

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Twelve mantras for good time management

As a small business owner working on a limited budget and a small team, it is understandable that you are hard-pressed for time. It is natural to feel that there is not enough time in a day to juggle all the tasks that you want to do, and to wear all the different hats that you do. Here are a few mantras for you to manage your business time more effectively.

Create a to-do list

Take one day at a time. Create a to-do list every day, of the things that need to be done on that day. Efficient organisation and planning will help in better time management.

Understand priorities

Understand your priorities clearly. Begin every day with tasks that are most important, and then get on to other tasks.

Maintain an e-mail schedule

E-mail takes away a large part of the productive time of entrepreneurs. It is, hence, a good idea to maintain a schedule for checking and responding to your e-mail. Do not stay connected to your e-mail 24/7, but allocate specific times to attend to it.

Find your productivity zone

Some entrepreneurs are most efficient in the mornings, while some are later in the day. It is imperative to find out your productivity zone – the time when your productivity is at its highest. Try to do your most important tasks, which take up most of your energy, during this time period.

Take breaks

Do not be afraid to take breaks in the midst of hectic working days. Do things that rejuvenate you in your breaks, so that you are ready to return to your work with a new zeal.

Also, ensure that you exercise regularly, sleep and eat well for your productivity to be at its highest.

Avoid distractions

Avoid distractions like personal e-mail and social networking, phone calls, or attending to other employees or personal matters as far as possible. Distractions take away a lot from the productive time of an entrepreneur.

You might choose to deal with the other things – apart from work – that demand your attention during your breaks, or schedule time during the day for the same.

Be clutter-free

Keep your desk and computer clutter-free, so that you can easily find the things that you are looking for. Organise files neatly on your computer. Reply to e-mails that you get within a day’s time, as far as possible, and do not keep them sitting in your inbox, unanswered, for a long time, till you completely forget about them. This will only lead to chaos.

Track your time

Keep track of all of your time. This will help you identify problem areas in your schedule, and to do away with them. Delegate Determine which of your tasks can be delegated to your employees. Find out which of your team members would be the best suited to take on these additional tasks. Delegate accordingly. This will leave you with more free time to focus on other, more important tasks.

Know when to multi-task

Everyone is not good at multi-tasking. For some, it only serves to lower productivity and efficiency. In case of such people, it is better to do away with multi-tasking altogether, and concentrate on one project or goal at a time. At other times, however, multi-tasking becomes necessary, when there are too many things that demand your attention at the same time. It is, thus, crucial to determine when you should multi-task and when you should not.

Set goals

Set clear goals for yourself and your staff, indicating when each thing on your to-do lists is to be achieved. This will help you plan how to set about your work, and your delegation activities.

Use a system that work for you

There are several philosophies, software and online apps to help entrepreneurs manage their time better. Take time to study each of these systems, and choose the one that works best for you. Commit to the system, and work according to it.