Being a business owner is a fantastic experience that gives you the opportunity to create your own working lifestyle.
You could also find yourself overworking, overwhelmed and wondering what you’ve let yourself in for! It’s so easy for things to run away with you and cause you to seemingly work 24/7; driven often by poor time management and a lack of planning and control of stuff that sucks your time away.
To make sure that you don’t fall foul of common time sucks, make sure that you:
Create a Plan
One of the big secrets to creating a smooth working week is to create a plan in advance to allow you to manage your time. Many business owners, particularly those who are overwhelmed, go through every day with no idea of what they need to get done by the end of the day, week or month.
Your plan needs to enable you to ‘see’ what you intend to get done over various time periods from daily through to yearly and beyond.
It preferably needs to be written down, if only for you to see it. You don’t necessarily need to share your plan; sometimes just having it created and available can help you to better manage your time and tasks, including delegating to your internal and outsourced team.
Create a Schedule
It ‘s important to use a calendar or project management system to ensure that you can turn your wider plan into a manageable, workable schedule to ensure you get done what you need to get done.
Sometimes it’s tempting to not create a schedule especially when you work on your own. After all, you know what you need to get done, don’t you?
How often do you not go to meetings that have been planned into your diary? Hardly ever? That’s why you need to schedule time in your diary to complete tasks too; maybe create a ‘meeting’ with yourself to ensure that you get that work done.
And don’t forget that it’s important to schedule time in for leisure activities and time spent with your family too.
Whether it’s the television, your mobile or other technology, it’s important to avoid distractions when you are working and that includes interruptions from your colleagues and family.
If you are working, make sure your friends and family know and, if you work from home, also know not to pop round unexpectedly. You are working and not available for socialising!
Other than allowing for emergencies, turn off email and social media, especially your notifications so that you can work without interruptions.
I’ve known for many years that only checking email once or twice a day is the best plan to promote productivity and allow for focus on the key work that you need to do. It’s only in the last eighteen months since I’ve religiously applied that rule using ‘inbox pause’ in my Chrome Browser that I’ve realised how vital that piece of advice is.
Multi-tasking isn’t actually a thing.
It’s not multi-tasking, it’s actually switching very quickly between tasks. This means that you aren’t giving any of the tasks the full attention that they deserve. And, getting restarted on a task after a ‘switch’ actually takes valuable minutes that you are wasting.
There are occasional situations where multi-tasking does work, for example, listening to a podcast whilst walking, but in the main just stick to one thing to allow you to focus and get that important work done efficiently and effectively.
Without interruptions and multi-tasking, what used to take three hours might take only one hour!
Hopefully you are following all this advice. What other ways do you use to ensure that you are being productive as you can be? Come over to our Facebook Group and let me know.