Increase Your Productivity - 4 Strategies for Better Time Management
Would you consider yourself productive as a business owner? Perhaps because productivity is a rich word in itself, it comes with a lot of weight. So entrepreneurs and small business owners wake up each day asking this question, how can I be productive today? If you also ask this question, you are wise to keep reading.
Nowadays, at a time when most resources are automated and tasks can be accomplished with the click of a finger, productivity is measured in terms of how much time you can use to generate more revenue. If your business is earning $2000 each month for example, and you normally spend at least 40 hours in that period to make it happen, then you are productive if you’re already able to achieve this amount in just 30 hours.
But that is exactly where small business owners encounter a clog mostly in their daily operations.
How do you make use of your time so that you can be truly productive?
Don’t you juggle a lot of tasks and roles at work?
How do you spend only this much amount of time while still being able to generate the revenue you want to achieve – or even more?
Well, there is no one-size-fits-all solution for any type of entrepreneur, but there is a common positive result on productivity when time is well-addressed. In this blog, I will be sharing four strategies that helped me manage my time well. As business owners, the more we can handle our time properly, the better we can stay focused on our work so that we can be truly productive within the required period.
Here are time management strategies you can apply as a business owner:
Use a Planner or Calendar
I realize that not all people are the “planner” type. However, if you’re a business owner, you need to have at least a sense of order or system in your schedule, appointments, and commitments.
Why is that important? Every expense that you shell out, is calculated in terms of time. You pay or get paid per hour whether it’s a meeting with your supplier or client. So you cannot afford to cancel or come late to a meeting just because you had too much on your plate and because you were not able to arrange your schedule well.
Here are some benefits of using a planner or calendar.
You can be prepared for your next appointment because you know when it is happening.
You can take a look at your one-month schedule and make a decision ahead of whether you should do it yourself or delegate it to someone instead.
You can accomplish a client task with your best efforts because you have enough time to work on it.
You can also integrate self-care activities into your schedule because even entrepreneurs need rest, too.
You also get automated reminders or alarms when a deadline is looming so you will not fall behind schedule.
Set Deadlines for Yourself
The word “deadline” just has that creepy ring to it, don’t you think? Of course, a pun is intended there. But when we talk about productivity, we also talk about something that is completed, finished, and successful. Nothing is completed if you’re still working on it beyond a deadline. So if you’re still at it and the deadline is a few minutes away, you can also kiss productivity goodbye.
Deadlines are a blessing to entrepreneurs if you come to think of it. These specific chunks of time assure you that something is being done and something can be expected. But to make it work to your advantage, it is wise to set a deadline for yourself aside from the deadline you agreed with a client.
If you agree to deliver the product by Friday end of the day, you can set your deadline to Wednesday end of the day. What this does for you is provide you with enough time to review, double-check, and make sure that you are truly prepared. If this is a product-based business and you can deliver ahead of the deadline, you will earn the client’s trust and loyalty, which means more orders – and more productivity.
Prioritize Your Tasks
As was previously mentioned, entrepreneurs juggle a lot of tasks. You pay your bills. You look for clients. You market your product or service. And the list goes on. While this should serve as a motivation for every fresh entrepreneur because we’ve all been there, this could also consume your energy quite easily. You wouldn’t want to exhaust yourself that fast.
You should be able to learn by now what your priority in the business is and how to truly prioritize it. A lot of business owners struggle to zoom in on what is the main thing in their business because they are scared to assign smaller tasks to others. However, if you truly want to be productive, you should also learn to delegate.
A perfect example would be answering repeated inquiries about your product or service rates. Between actively looking for and meeting with sure clients and typing your responses to these same questions in your messenger or chat apps, which would you choose? I bet you would pick up the client meeting, right? And that’s where your priority is. It doesn’t mean however that those inquiries are less important, but you can delegate or automate that task.
Once you’ve unloaded some minor tasks off your shoulders, you can then give the most of your focus and attention to the most essential element of your business. Perhaps you would even want to try how our automation strategies do wonders in your budding business and see how you can allocate more time for that which you should prioritize.
Set Time Limits for Each Task
Your tasks need to be completed before you can say you are truly productive. The more tasks you can complete at a given time, the more productive you are. How can setting a time limit help you to do this?
You get more motivation to work on a task when you know that this is the amount of task allocated for it. In most cases, when you are already familiar with a task, you can already do more of it than the usual time given to you. So you could decide to finish the more familiar ones faster, which gives you more time to prepare for the harder tasks that would require additional preparation on your part.
Once you also see that a task has a shorter time limit, you could also decide that it could be delegated to another person so you will have more time for the more major responsibilities. If you also see that a task needs more time, you could plan your schedule around it so you could better prepare on how to finish it.
If you have made it your habit to allocate time limits to your task, you would also acquire that sense of peace and assurance that every time you spent was truly productive. This mindset is empowering enough for entrepreneurs to get going knowing that their hours are well-spent.
Business owners always value their time. This, at least, I believe is prominent among us. So the more you find ways to make sure that your time is spent well, the more that you could increase your productivity.
While the above strategies are practical, entrepreneurs should continue to be proactive in finding ways to make time work to their advantage. If you need to invest in extra help so that you can get more time that generates more revenue, go and do it. If you also need help in better strategizing your marketing decisions for your business, go and do it. At the end of the day, the time that you can claim back for yourself can be allocated for the bigger tasks that would give you more income. So be productive wisely.