As a small business owner, you know that time is your greatest asset. You can lose money and get it back. You can even lose a business and get it back. But time is irretrievable. That’s why you’ve got to protect it like a hawk. Here are my 7 time management tips for small business owners — 7 ways you can do a better job protecting your time now!
- Follow Mark Twain’s advice.
Every high-achieving small business owner should heed Mark Twain’s famous advice ‘eat a live frog first thing in the morning’.
Checking one of those dreaded item off your ‘to-do’ list gives you a lift and a feeling of accomplishment that will carry you through the rest of your day. If you eat the frog first thing, it prevents a dreaded ‘to-do’ from taking up your mental space, stressing you out the rest of the day and even keeping you up at night.
To make sure you actually accomplish the distasteful task each day, try using the IRS (Identify-Rank-Schedule) method.
To do this, simply read your to-do list aloud, rank the item that makes you feel worst as No. 1, then block off time in your daily schedule to focus only on that task. You have to eat the frog or the frog will eat you.
- Take some morning ‘me’ time.
This is one of my favorites, I love ‘me’ time. Many successful small business owners and career women swear by their morning ritual. Some high-achieving women listen to a spiritual audio book, others a two to three minute podcast, and some enjoy reading the bible or a book that encourages them to be more than they are now.
All of these are great ways to put life in perspective and give you the confidence to face the challenges of the day.
You may want to try putting some peppermint, eucalyptus and tea tree oils into an aromatherapy diffuser. It will create a Zen-like atmosphere in your office, Some people love the journal first thing in the morning. In essence a morning ritual helps you be the winner of your day.
Get some positive information every morning and watch how fast you start to reach higher levels of performance, and how much happier you will be.
- If you must meet, don’t sit.
Meetings can be a drag and a big time suck, but you need to touch base with your employees. So, consider quick stand-up meetings or walking meetings.
Walking is not only a healthy way to take a break from sitting, but it can make you and your employees more creative. In fact, walking can increase your creative output by 60 percent, according to research from Stanford University.
Some women in leadership make their rounds, quickly stopping at each employee’s desk. They check in with everyone – not because they are social butterflies. In each of these two- or three-minute meeting, they asks the employees if they are facing any obstacles, need advice on anything or if are waiting for information needed to make progress on a task.
These mini meetings can help get your employees off to a good start, and they prevent interruptions from employees knocking on your office door with questions. This gives you a change to move on with my day quickly.
One effective way to determine where you should spend more time is the 80/20 rule. The 80/20 rule basically says that 80% of your results come from 20% of your efforts.
So your job in effective time management is to increase the amount of time you spend each day and each week in that 20% category where you’re going to get the greatest results in your career and business (and less time everywhere else).
This is a process, you must apply it every week until you have a very clear idea of where you can get the most bang for your minutes.
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For career and businesswomen it’s always about – ‘Results. Uniqueness. Differentiation.’ I call this your RUD.
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