How to manage your time like a boss
As a small business owner or entrepreneur, Brand Sugar knows that you likely have a ‘to-do’ list as long as your arm, which can result in feeling overwhelmed and not knowing where to start. As we all know, this can then lead to demotivation and procrastination, ultimately resulting in decreased productivity. And the list gets longer…
We hear the terms ‘time poor’, ‘flat out’ and ‘just keeping my head above water’ so often. So many small business owners struggle to focus on growing their business because they are stuck in the detail.
They are too busy trying to wear multiple hats throughout the day (the Sales Rep, the Accountant, the Administrator, the Customer Service Agent and the Logistics Coordinator to name a few)…
Whilst also… delivering a product or service, balancing customer needs, financials and maintaining the enthusiasm and respect of employees as the “Big Boss”…
Whilst also… juggling a personal life, health, happiness, and family commitments.
The list truly goes on…
(We could write a whole blog about the many hats of a modern-day business owner!)
It’s tough – we’ve been there. We understand you!
However, never fear! Brand Sugar has your back.
Today we are coming to the rescue with our Top 10 Time Management Tips on How to Manage Your Time Like a Boss – giving you the tools you need to regain control of your time and get back to running your business like the Boss that you set out to be! Implement our top time management tips to free yourself up, allowing you to focus on what really matters to you and your business – whether that be getting back to your zone of genius or focusing on the bigger picture!
1. Create a Solid ‘To-do’ List.
The best way to allocate your time is by knowing what you need to do. Make sure that you have a solid ‘to-do’ list to keep you on track. Taking time at the beginning of each week to map out your goals and objectives for the week, will give you a clearer picture of what needs to be done. Think about it like this… how can you manage your time effectively if you don’t know what you are trying to achieve!
There are great online tools for this, such as Asana (our personal favourite), Microsoft Teams or Trello, which are essentially online ‘to-do’ lists. Check them out and see what works for you!
2. Prioritise – Yes, That ol’ Chestnut!
Now that you have your ‘to-do’ list in place, it’s time to prioritise. This is Time Management fundamentals! Prioritisation is the process of determining which tasks are most important and should therefore be tackled first.
Unsure how to figure out what’s highest priority? Our tip to you is to consider IMPACT.
Ask yourself the following questions:
• If left incomplete, which task will have the highest negative impact on customer satisfaction?
• Will it hurt the business financially?
• When is the deadline?
• Do other tasks depend on this task being complete – what are the knock-on effects?
• Is this task for a high-profile individual (e.g. a CEO) or VIP client?
3. Quit Multitasking!
This tip is mostly aimed at women, because we all know men can’t multitask! ???? (Only kidding!)
Yes, multitasking can be a wonderful thing and it feels like you are bossing it. But, the simple fact is that multitasking actually just divides your time between two tasks and your brain has to keep quickly readjusting between the two tasks to keep up with you. This is counterproductive and inefficient. By focusing solely on one task and finishing before you move on to the next, you will notice a huge increase in efficiency!
4. Get Your Business in Order.
Conduct a review of your filing structures to ensure that they are optimised for efficiency. By having a clear, logical and effective filing structure in place, this improves the ability for you and your staff members to locate documents quickly and with ease – saving you time through the day!
Use a Cloud based platform such as OneDrive, DropBox or Google Docs to store your documents online, enabling them to be accessed by anyone, from anywhere, at any time.
5. Automation, Automation, Automation!
It’s that buzzword again: Automation!
There’s a good reason this one keeps cropping up. By creating templates for repetitive processes and ensuring that you’re leveraging the right technology to automate your workflows, you really can save yourself a huge chunk of time (and brain power) in your day.
6. Track your Time.
Time is valuable. But, do you really know where your time goes each week? Conduct a time audit to find out which activities are eating into your valuable time. There are so many great time tracking software options out there – and a lot of them have great free versions available. Take a look at Clockify or Toggl – which both have easy overlay browser add ins, allowing you to simply click play and go.
Once you have a clearer idea of where your time goes each week, you can identify which activities are draining your productivity and put in place a solid plan to eliminate the headache!
7. Learn to Delegate.
We acknowledge that at times it can feel tricky to let go of your baby, because you worked so hard to build your empire! However, learning the art of delegation or outsourcing is such an important skill for small business owners and entrepreneurs. The truth is, you are amazing – but you simply can’t do it all.
This could be as simple as delegating to an internal team member, or even outsourcing to an expert. So, next time you don’t have the time, skill or will to complete a task – engage someone who does. We can break it down for you below:
• No time = This one should be pretty self-explanatory!
• No skill = It will take an expert half the time to complete, giving you better value for money, time and less headaches!
• No will = If you don’t have the desire to complete a task, chances are, it will take you longer to complete. Procrastination is a killer!
8. Are you an Early Bird or a Night Owl?
So, how well do you know yourself? Do you perform better first thing in the morning or do your ideas come to you late at night? Figure out your optimal performance window and USE IT!
If you perform best first thing in the morning, tackle your highest priority or hardest task for the day first – so that you have a better chance of completing the most important task before the afternoon brain fog sets in.
9. Reevaluate Customer Relationships.
Consider this – are there certain customers who tend to repeatedly drain your time each day?
If you find yourself continuously putting out fires for the same client, corresponding over non-billable tasks, or tending to issues, with little to no reward – then perhaps it’s time you reevaluate some of your client relationships, and whether they are worth your time.
10. Time Blocking – a new Technique.
Time Blocking is a time management technique where you divide your day into ‘blocks’ of time dedicated to specific tasks. This allows you to focus on a specific task for a period of time, with no distractions. That means closing your emails and ignoring anything that pops up for that particular period.
For example, your day may look like this:
9.00-11.00am: Respond to client queries in inbox.
11.00-1.00pm: Process Orders.
2.00-2.30pm: Check Emails.
2.30-4.30pm: Client Meetings/Zoom Calls
4.30-5.00pm: Review ‘to-do’ list and plan for tomorrow.
So it’s over to you from here. We’ve shared the secret with you, now you need to take control of your destiny.
Our challenge to you…
Try to implement Brand Sugar’s Top 10 Time Management Tips on How to Manage Your Time Like a Boss this week.
You have one week. You can thank us later! Good luck – GO!