Small Business

How To Manage Your Own Business

By David Krug David Krug is the CEO & President of Bankovia. He's a lifelong expat who has lived in the Philippines, Mexico, Thailand, and Colombia. When he's not reading about cryptocurrencies, he's researching the latest personal finance software. 5 minute read

When you’re trying to get your own business off the ground, it can seem like there aren’t enough hours in the day. Adding insult to injury, every minute that passes is money earned or lost for a small business owner.

Does that seem excessive to you? Think about this according to a Microsoft study, employees only use around 60% of their allotted work time. That’s barely 30% productivity, given that a typical work week consists of five days. 

That knowledge can now be used by your company. How would you feel about working for only 60 percent of the time and getting paid for it?

Have I managed to interest you? Without a clear plan for how you’ll spend your time, it will fly by and you won’t even realize it’s gone. But fear not; here are six ways that every business owner, no matter how large or little, may maximize their productivity.

Managing Time in Small Businesses

1. Disregard Your Email

Considering that most people check theirs every 5-10 minutes, this is perhaps simpler than it sounds. It may not seem like a lot of time, but think about how long it takes you to check your inbox every few minutes and respond to each message.

Don’t let your inbox control you; set limits on how much time you’re willing to spend on it. Allocate two times daily to reading and responding to your messages. It will take a lot of willpower and self-control, but you’ll be able to get more done without being continuously distracted by email.

If you think customers could be insulted by the length of time it takes you to reply, an autoresponder can be set up to inform them that it will be 10-12 hours before they hear back from you, or even 24 hours if that’s okay for your business.

2. Avoid Multitasking

Psychonomic Bulletin and Review published research showing that only about 2.5% of persons are truly capable of multitasking well. Also, research from the University of London’s Institute of Psychiatry indicates that being inundated with too many phone calls, texts, and emails can cause a ten-point drop in intelligence.

However, many who study time management claim that if you limit your attention to just one task at a time, you can expect a significant improvement in your efficiency and effectiveness. 

And that’s a big deal when you’re running a small business since it may make or break your company. If you set a timer for a specific amount of time, you can force yourself to focus on just one task at a time until it’s finished.

3. Achieve Your Goals Gradually

Setting a goal is easy; setting a thorough objective that includes all of the milestones and deadlines you’ll need to meet along the way is something else entirely. There are a lot of folks who have broad plans but never actually accomplish anything. 

Consider the millions of people who make promises to better themselves at the start of each new year. While these aspirations are admirable in theory, few individuals actually possess the expertise to put them into practice.

Effective time management in business requires breaking down each day into discrete, measurable chunks of work. As an illustration, if you want to increase your clientele by five, you should plan ahead and document the measures you intend to do. 

When you know exactly what has to be done along the road to achieving your larger goals, you will be more likely to get them done. Besides, everyone appreciates a pat on the back once in a while. Being encouraged by the knowledge that you have made progress toward your objective is important.

Prioritize the tasks that need to be accomplished before lunch and those that can wait until after lunch. You’ll be more motivated to focus on finishing work and avoid procrastination if you know you can’t take a break for lunch until you’ve reached your targets.

4. Set Your Time and Space Aside

When your surroundings are disordered, it’s tough to stay focused and get things done. According to a survey conducted by Esselte, 43% of working Americans admit to being disorganized, with this trait leading them to put in extra hours at the workplace on average twice a week. It need not be that way.

The first step in enhancing productivity is, according to experts on the subject, to clear and then organize your environment. Get rid of the extraneous and set up a structure for the essentials. 

Use different colored file folders for tasks that need to be completed immediately and those that can wait until the following day. Or, if you’re more of a techie, you may scan the document and save it as a PDF on your computer or Blackberry.

Time management is just as important as space management. Many individuals employ a time-increment method, in which they give themselves a fixed amount of time to do each task. 

You can set the time and get notified when it’s up using wonderful free online tools like e.ggtimer, a device that functions just like an egg timer. For those of us who thrive under pressure, there’s nothing like timed competition.

5. Make It Written Down

Putting your intentions on paper helps to ensure that you will follow through with them. Your day will go more smoothly if you put your plans, including your goals and the specifics of how you expect to achieve them, on paper. 

There will always be things that divert your attention, but if you know exactly what you need to get done today, you’re much less likely to waste time drifting from one activity to the next.

Some authorities advise making this list the night before. That way, you won’t have to spend time the next day trying to figure out how to tackle your duties or what you actually need to get done.

6. Convert Your Vehicle Into An Office

This next piece of advice is a little more severe, but if you’ve seen the movie Lincoln Lawyer, you’ll understand why. Do you ever find yourself wishing you could get some work done in the car while commuting or waiting for a meeting to start? 

Use the time wisely by hooking up the fax and copy machine to your car and getting work done that would otherwise have to be done at a more convenient time, such as while you are driving. 

The Possio Greta is a portable GSM fax, printer, and scanner that will turn your commute into productive time. You may always stay in touch with the world by purchasing a smartphone or a laptop outfitted with a mobile Internet card.

Bottom Line

The old saying that time is money is founded on will likely never become obsolete. In addition, if you’re self-employed, increasing your earnings could not be simpler than just improving your time management.

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