Tips for Businesses in Need of Better Time Management

Owning and running a business takes a substantial amount of work, and it can seem overwhelming at times. Whether you are working with a small business, large business, or as a freelancer, one of the biggest issues you will likely have is finding enough hours in the day to do everything. You might look at some of your friends and be envious of just how easy they seem to make it. What is it that makes them different from you? You are just as dedicated and talented, so where does the difference lie? Chances are quite good that the real difference is that they know how to manage their time better.

People generally take one of two approaches when they are trying to get a better handle on their time. One approach works and the other will drive you insane eventually. The terrible way, and the one that will not work for long, is to put in more hours. Yes, there is certainly something to be said for working hard, but you also need to realize that you should be working smart. When you put in too many hours and “burn the candle at both ends”, that candle will eventually burn out. That is exactly what you are facing.

The proper way is to learn better time management skills, and that’s what we will cover in this article.

Turn It Off

Technology can be a huge benefit in our lives, but it also has the potential to become a massive distraction. Technology causes us to spend far more time looking at our phones and computer screens than we should. It is a normal reaction to want to check your email all the time for alerts and messages from business associates, friends, family, as well as whoever is trying to shill their latest product. In fact, just reading the words “check your email” may have made you think that you should probably go and check your email. Don’t do it.

Consider this for a moment, before email, how often did you walk to the mailbox and check for the regular mail? Once a day, if you were like most people. You didn’t run to the box every half hour to see if the post office delivered yet. Since communication today comes far more quickly, you probably do want to check your email more than once a day. Three times is optimal – morning, noon, and night. Any more than that and it is overkill.

In addition to staying away from the email, think about all of those other distractions, such as fun websites and videos. Since people can get their favorite television shows and movies on to their phones and tablets today, it can be rather tempting to watch something enjoyable rather than work, and that will come back to bite you when it comes to wasted time.

Schedule Right

Have a plan, or schedule, and make sure you stick to it. Make sure that all of your employees who are working on a particular project are working on the same schedule too. If the project needs to go from Team A to Team B and then Team C, they all need to be on point and on time in the process. Having a plan scheduled and in place for each of the different elements of the project can ensure you complete it on time.

In addition to your schedule for the business, consider making personal to-do lists as well. Prioritize the items you have on the lists.

Turning Down Projects

Everyone wants to be helpful, and they want to be successful. Having more jobs and more work makes some feel more successful and stable, so businesses may sometimes take on more contracts and work than they should. However, this tends to have the opposite of the intended effect. Instead of adding another happy client, there’s a chance that your company might fall behind on one or more other projects. This could lead to several disgruntled clients who might actually decide to take their business elsewhere.

Sometimes, you need to turn down a project, or at least see if the client is willing to reschedule and push his or her project back while you finish up others on your docket to make room for it. The possibility of losing business from one client is much more attractive than upsetting a stable of your current clients.

Time Tracking Software

One of the best ways to get a better grasp on your time management skills is with the aid of software and applications for your computer and mobile devices. You and your employees can start using the software so you can see where you are spending your time and how much time you are spending on the different parts of your projects. When you have the data from the software to see where the troubles are, it is easy enough to look into those areas and make changes.

For example, you might have an employee who is having trouble making his or her daily quota and goals. You can look into the issue. It might be something as simple as providing a better workstation or better training to help get him or her up to speed. However, you may also find that the employee is guilty of dereliction. Either way, you will then have your answer and you can take the appropriate actions.

When you choose time tracking software, make sure that you take the time to choose high quality software that has the potential to help your business. You want the software to be easy to use so you and your employees are more likely to remember to – and want to – use it.

When you take the time and the effort to learn more about time management, and you are proactive in making the actual changes you need to improve your skills, you will see that it really can make a huge difference in your life and in your business.


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