Running your own business is a lot of work. You are constantly having to manage a multitude of recurring tasks, new clients, old clients, processing, fulfillment, website management, social media and the list goes on. It can be easy to get overwhelmed by all of these tasks and watch them fall through the cracks.
Today we wanted to share a few tips on managing your time so you can get more done during your business hours. We hope these can help you get your to-do list under control so you can stop stressing and get back to enjoying what you do.
#1 Prioritize Your Tasks
This may seem obvious, but it is really easy to overlook this aspect of time management and it makes it hard to get important tasks done on time. It is important to prioritize your important tasks on a regular basis so that you can accurately plan ahead and make sure things are getting done when they need to be done.
You can go further than having one list and break up your priority list into categories like post processing, web & social, or business management. This way you can prioritize various tasks based in relation to other similar tasks. Then, when you are utilizing tip #2 and scheduling tasks, you can schedule time for each category, rather than specific tasks.
You can do this daily, or a couple of times per week. Just make sure you have a prioritized task list on hand so that when you finish tasks you can see the next most important item to get started on.
#2 Schedule or ‘Time Box’ Your Days
After prioritizing your tasks, the next best thing you can do to make sure you are getting things done is to schedule your day or what I call ‘time boxing’. Basically break your day up into time segments, either by the hour, or half hour, depending on how big your tasks are and dedicate your work during those times to specific tasks.
When scheduling out your time boxes, it is important to make time for breaks and meals so that you are not over-working yourself. I also like to schedule quick 15 minute social media stints so that I can keep up to date with what is going on in my networks.
The important piece here is that you stick to your scheduling. When your scheduled time is up on a given project then put it down and move on to the next task. You can schedule more time for the unfinished task later that day or the next day.
Always leave a slot or two open towards the end of the day to get back to unfinished tasks, or to get new (but important) tasks done before the end of the day.
#3 Limit Distractions and Close Those Social Media Tabs
In today’s world it is so easy to get distracted from important work like social media or texts. It seems like everything is built to pull you away from what you are doing and direct your attention elsewhere. One thing that helps me is when I really need to focus on a specific task I shut off my phone notifications, and close all browser tabs that are not necessary to the task that I am working on.
If you work in a noisy environment then maybe investing in some noise canceling headphones would be a good idea so that you are not distracted by noise from your environment.
I know I was surprised by how much more work I got done once I started limiting my distractions during work times. It really can make a significant difference in your output and the quality of your work.
Hopefully these tips help you get a little more done during your already busy days. I know that these simple tips helped me better manage my time and get more done during my work hours, and I think they should be able to help you as well.
Do you have any other time management and optimization tips that I didn’t mention? Leave a comment below and share!