- This is a guest blog post by Bonnie Joy Dewkett -
Small business owners are often responsible for lots of things; administrative work, marketing efforts and management of the company. It’s a lot to handle and a lot of things to get done each day. Often, business owners end up focusing on all of the small details and the big projects and development work goes undone. By really determining where and how you spend your time, you can make sure you are making the best of it. By maximizing your time, you are making your life less stressful and allowing your business to grow.
1# Write everything down. Getting things out of your head and into a productivity app is helpful in reducing mind clutter. Something as simple as free note taking program can be divided into different sections and easily carried around with you.
2# Keep lists, and have more than one. A productivity app works great for this. Keep a list for what you have to do today, this week, this month and even this year. If something never moves up on the list, chances are good it’s not that important. Write down the date you add something to the list. This will give you an idea of how long it’s really been around.
3# Keep a section of your planner or to do list dedicated to your goals. There is a saying: What gets written down gets attended to, and what gets attended to, gets done. If something is really important, put it on a sign, a post-it note, and put it where you will see it every day.
4# Determine how you prioritize. Some people like to do what is most difficult first in their day. Others want to do what could make them the most money first in the day. Pick a way to prioritize and stick with it.
5# Schedule time for email as the Internet can be a huge time waster. We often have no idea how long we spend online, and we can easily get distracted. A good way to manage your time online is to set a timer for 30 minutes. When it rings, you know exactly how much time you’ve spent on email and browsing, and you will not “lose” time as easily.
6# Delegate everything you can. If you have an assistant, and you are doing your own filing, that’s not an effective use of your time. Find out what can be done by others and pass it off to them. A little time training someone goes a long way in freeing up your day.
7# Schedule time for making proactive phone calls, and returning calls you’ve received. Playing phone tag can use up a lot of time and can decrease your productivity. Schedule telephone calls with your other party so that you both know when you will be available to chat. Bundle your phone calls all at once so that you are not being disrupted from your work more than one time.
8# Go to meetings or make phone calls with an agenda and questions. Know what you WANT and NEED to accomplish during your call or meeting. Having no schedule or agenda allows other topics to creep in, wasting your valuable time.
9# Give yourself transition time between activities. Scheduling activities one after another does not allow you ample time to finish what you are doing, and transition into your next task. Give yourself a few minutes buffer time in between meetings and calls to clear your desk, get some water, and feel calm and collected. Don’t forget to compensate for time traveling between meeting location, even if it is just within your office.
10# Prepare for tomorrow today. By cleaning off your desk today, and making a list of things you should accomplish first thing tomorrow, you allow yourself to have focus when you first arrive at the office the next day. We are often foggy in the morning, which makes us unsure of where to begin working for the day. When you don’t know where to begin, you delay the entire day. Writing your to-do list before you leave for the day also clears your mind so that you can rest, relax, and get a good night’s sleep when you get home.
Running a small business is always challenging! There are never enough resources: time, space, and money in particular. Learning to maximize what you have is important, and can mean the difference between success and failure. Often, we simply need to change the way we are looking at things and how we are managing our time. By freeing up time, we can focus on things that are important to the success of the business, such as social media marketing. While social media marketing does not cost anything to use, the time invested must come from somewhere. By learning how to “create” time in our already busy days, you can add in social media marketing to your day and grow the success of your company.
Bonnie Joy Dewkett, is a co-founder of Social Ocean Media. She is a nationally recognized organizing expert, author, radio personality, and motivational speaker. Her organizing company, The Joyful Organizer®, creates and implements organizational systems for the home and office. These changes allow her Customers to create calm from chaos at work and at home.