5 Tips to Manage Your Time So You Have More of It
Most small business owners suffer from one major affliction: not enough time. We all know that time is money, and important for balance in our lives. So, how do we get more of it? These five tips won’t create more time on the clock, but they will help you manage it so you have more of it.
1. Digital Calendar
If you haven’t been using a calendar at all, start using one. Just being able to physically see the plan of your day, week, and month will help you to plan your time better.
While paper calendars have been helpful for years, we have an even better tool at our disposal- the digital calendar. Even if you don’t know it, you have one on your phone and/or computer. You could also use a cloud calendar like Google’s.
Many of the digital calendars have some type of reminder system that you can set up to alert you of upcoming appointments, meetings, etc., so you don’t miss anything. You can even set up multiple calendars to be able to see how your personal or family calendar coincides with your work one. Going digital also allows you to have a constant, updated version of your full calendar in your pocket, instead of dragging around a clunky book everywhere.
2. Eliminate Distractions
Distractions are what cause you to lose your focus, and not complete your tasks. This causes you to have to reschedule meetings, stay late at the office, or go in on Saturday mornings to catch-up.
Close the door to your office. Turn your phone on silent. Turn the email alert on your computer off so that when you’re writing a report, you don’t pause to check your incoming mail, and never make it back to the report. Do everything you can to create a quiet, stress-free, and distraction-free, work environment so that you can focus on one thing at a time. You will get so much more accomplished.
3. To-Do Lists
Everyone starts their day with multiple things they want, or need, to get done. Making a list will help you to prioritize what is most important and decide what is most time-consuming. You will be able to better schedule your day and get more done. Additionally, when you complete something, you get to cross it off- it makes you feel so accomplished to be able to look at the list throughout the day and see how far you’ve come.
4. Social Media Scheduling Tools
Tools like CoSchedule, Buffer, Hootsuite, and others allow you to work ahead of time, and schedule your social media posts. Instead of hopping onto each site separately every day to post, you can use the scheduling accounts to write posts for multiple social media outlets at the same time, auto-schedule posting, and on some, view a calendar of your former posts. Spend an hour or two every other week, and schedule your posts in advance. It will allow you more time in the long term and help you avoid the distraction of daily posts.
5. Zero Inbox
Don’t let your inbox get out of control. Block out some time at the end of your day, set a timer, and see how many emails you can get rid of in that amount of time. Make it a little game! Work on it every day, and shoot to end your day with nothing in your inbox. You’ll feel clean, organized, and accomplished when you leave for the day. It will also help you keep your time spent in your email under control, and make more time for other things.
Each of these tips will help you to manage your time throughout your work day and give you more time outside of it. The key is to stay organized and focused. Each of these steps will help you to accomplish that goal, and help you have more time for the fun things in life!
Abby Yetter is the CEO and Chief Consultant of Bright Ideas Small Business Solutions, LLC. She is a driven, enthusiastic businesswoman, with a talent for organizing the chaotic, and branding the unfamed. Abby strives to use her creativity, and experience, to solve the many problems of small businesses. With a background based in customer service management, social media, technological organization, sales, marketing, and customer experience specialties, she enjoys taking everyday complications, and finding the newest, most productive ways to execute the tasks.All stories by: Abby Yetter