Time management strategies for your business
Beyond the emotional stress poor time management can induce, the success of a business can often hinge on a manager/business owner’s ability to find effective time management strategies. Without properly segmenting tasks and goals according to specific time management strategies, other major elements of your business (staff management, accounts, customer experience, growth) all risk suffering as a result.
Here are 5 important time management strategies to get you back on track
- Mark out your major milestones/goals
Whether it be in your customer service management, sales, marketing, staff management, account management or financial planning, you need to set longterm major goals or milestones for each area. For instance, set marketing goals such as your reach on social media platforms alongside long term sales goals (how many units of your product you want to be selling by a certain month). This will not only help you visualise the growth and future of your business but help you see how the various aspects of your business (marketing, customer experience, sales) relate to one another.
Setting down long term goals will also help you manage your time more efficiently, as it is the first step in breaking down goals and tasks.
- Break down your tasks and goals
Tasks and goals are separate and should not be confused. Your tasks lead to the achievement of your goals, so should be approached differently. Generally, your tasks should be broken down even further than your goals. For instance, a marketing campaign will be broken up into a multitude of tasks, such as PR, content development, paid advertising, graphic design etc. Within these tasks, there are probably even more tasks that you can set out to follow.
Just as small acts of self-control are generally agreed to be the best way to create long lasting habits or to practice effective long term self-control, so too does breaking up large tasks into their smaller parts to allow the brain to more easily digest what needs to be done and to create a pathway or critical path in which a task as a whole can be more efficiently completed.
Alongside this, short term goals can be used in conjunction with long term goals to measure how effective your tasks are in developing and managing your business.
- Create a hierarchy of tasks
Order your tasks according to their importance. This may seem hard to do at first but relate individual tasks to your goals as well as other areas of the business (marketing vs. sales) and you will start to get an idea of what tasks are time sensitive as well as what tasks will have short term vs. long term effects on your business.
Creating a hierarchy of tasks is one of the most important time management strategies as it allows you to properly visualise how your business is structured and then to delegate individual tasks out to your staff.
- Delegate your tasks
Being able to yell “Help!” is one of the hardest things for a business owner to do but is fundamental to the success of a business.
Having a clear map of your short/long term goals and associated tasks will enable you to delegate relevant projects to those who are best suited to completing them.
Use online software tools, such as Trello, Slack and Asana to manage various people and their tasks. These tools allow you to set up tasks as visual reminders, to place these in various stages of your project management (e.g. planned, ongoing tasks, completed tasks) and make a number of amendments to these tasks or communicate through them to the particular staff member involved.
Learning to delegate also means learning to say no. It is a hard lesson for an entrepreneur to learn but saying no at some point in your career is fundamental in building healthy working practices and maintaining your ability to achieve tasks and tick off goals.
- Rest the mind
Having adequate rest is a core principle in driving creative thought and maintaining the growth of a business successfully. This is easier said than done, as it seems that we are expected to manage a successful career/business, happy relationships, parent our children without making any mistakes, maintain cultural awareness and capital and be a part time athlete. Being able to say yes to rest, accepting your limits as a parent, asking for help in all areas of your life, being realistic but practical in your health goals and working with your partner to manage your relationship is key to not just your emotional and physical health but the health of your business. Don’t try to do it alone but seek help and offer it when it is asked of you.