Managing your time can be one of the most challenging aspects of small business ownership, especially since you likely take on many roles to maintain a thriving business. However, by implementing just a few quick and easy suggestions, you will find that successfully managing your time can become second nature. Take a look at the list below to see how to start maximizing your precious time right away.
- Make a goal and set a time limit. This goes for tasks both large and small. For example, if you need to contact three different referrals, this can most likely be done in the course of an hour. Give yourself a reasonable amount of time to complete the task, but not so much time that you wind up procrastinating. For tasks or projects that are more involved, such as creating a new marketing campaign, set short-term and long-term goals. A short-term goal might be to brainstorm a list of ideas to market your business, so give yourself an hour or two to generate a comprehensive list. A long-term goal might be holding a marketing or opportunity event, so give yourself a reasonable amount of time to plan and hold the event. By setting limits, you can allow yourself to stay focused and motivated to finish on time.
- Find the best way to keep yourself on task. Identify your most common distractions, such as checking and updating social networking sites, or chatting with colleagues who stop by your office throughout the day. Once you’ve figured out what causes you to lose focus, identify what motivates you. Would it be a walk around the park on a sunny day during lunch? Your favorite frozen treat on the way home from work? Find someone or something that will keep you on task by helping you minimize or eliminate distractions, and use your motivators as a reward for staying focused. This takes a good amount of self-discipline, but what could be more worth it than your own business and financial success?
- Know why it needs to be done and what rewards come from completing your task. After awhile, some tasks can seem truly mundane. For example, filling out paperwork, proofreading documents, filing invoices, and paying bills are types of tasks that can make anyone want to roll their eyes at the thought. When faced with dreaded tasks, keep reminding yourself of the benefits of completing even the most trivial of tasks. Filing your invoices makes your life easier because it keeps you organized and saves time in the long run. Paying bills keeps your vendors happy, your business afloat, and gives you the ability to continue doing what you love. These subtle reminders can be an effective way to keep you on task no matter what you are doing.
Managing your time well will allow you to continually improve your business and keep moving it forward.
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