Hack #1: To do and not to do
Many of the time management gurus will tell you about creating to do lists and working them one priority at a time. While that is great for the super focused it may not work for everyone.
I recently came across the concept of writing “not to do list”, which work brilliantly when you know you have certain things that put a demand on your time and energy and don’t necessarily make you feel great or get your goals accomplished.
Examples of that is falling down the scroll hole on social media, 20, 30 or 60 minutes can easily pass by with you doing productive and not noticing how much c**p has infiltrated your brain and taken of your time and energy.
Another one, getting engaged in the office gossip or in the recurrent Saturday night out and then spending the whole of Sunday and probably a few days after that trying to catch up with life. Or it could be things that are bigger or smaller than that, each one of us is different.
Take a moment to notice your daily actions, write them all down in deadly detail and then decide which ones need to stay on your to do list and which need to go on the not do list (or the not to do so often list).
One tool that is useful as well if you find yourself not so much of a black and white person is using the Eisenhower matrix in organising your tasks.
Sunday is a good day to plan for the week ahead, sit yourself down with a cuppa and write down on a piece of paper what tasks you need to take care of then matrix them and work it by order.
Yes, things might change, or new priorities might pop up but always have a structure to your day, if you don’t run the day the day will run you over!
Hack #2: Automate and delegate
I have talked about this previously, you can have it all, but you can’t do it all!
As much as we think we are super humans we are not and yes, we are capable of achieving great things but only if we are wise with our time and energy.
In your life and as well in your business there would be tasks that 100% rely on you to complete them but there would be other things that you can outsource and get a better return of investment on your time. You don’t need to do all your digital marketing, spend countless hours preparing content or running follow ups without an automated system.
Same things in life, you probably don’t need to mow the lawn yourself when you can let the kid next door do it for pocket money or keep going to the groceries shop to buy the same things that you can get delivered to your house saving you time and energy.
Do you need to sit down every month or so and pay the bills or can you set up a direct debit?
These are just examples, have a think what are the things that absolutely need you to do them (and do let go of your ego when you think about them – yes you are great at doing things but learn to let go of the things that you don’t need to do yourself) and what are the things that are better outsourced and automated.
Hack #3: Say no
Get selfish with your time!
When you say yes to something you are saying no to something else, so if you are giving your time to people and task that don’t help you or your goals then you are falling into the energy vacuum and you’re getting yourself in that busy space unnecessarily, because you are taking care of things for other people, you are entertaining what others need before you fill your cup first.
Learn to say no and stick to your guns. You might need to refer to the ‘not to do list’ that you created to help you decide what to say no to.
I know some people find it difficult to say the word no, so here are some ways you can say it without offending the other party:
- That’s just not going to work for me
- I have a personal rule that I have to work on my business every week
- My schedule is just fully committed right now, I’ll let you know if an opening comes up
- That’s not something that I can do right now
- I don’t feel comfortable with that
- I’ll need to take some space to think about this more
- I can’t do that but I would love to support you in another way
Hack #4: Do one thing at a time
I know the media can get a bit too crazy with glorifying multitasking and while it’s a woman’s strong suit I wouldn’t recommend it especially when running a business.
When you switch between tasks your productivity can drop down to 40% which is not something you’d want when you run a business alongside a full-on jobor simply just have a full-on life.
Think about it when you’re doing the house chores you don’t wash one dish then go and dust off the window blinds, come back and wash a pot then go to mop the bathroom floor. You just do one chore at a time. Same for me when I do ward rounds, I don’t see one patient then go off to have a meeting, then come back to see another then break away to set up for a procedure then come back etc.
Do one thing at a time, finish it then move to the next, it reduces brain scatter and overwhelm and gives a good going sense of achievement that will fuel the good feeling vibes.
An example in business would be create content, generate leads, complete sales and do follow ups, complete each in a time slot and then move to the next. Nothing can be more unproductive than replying to a message, then going off to create a post coming back to clear your inbox and just run around in circles trying to catch your tail.
Sit down, nicely fold your tail to a side and do one thing at a time.
Hack #5: Block time slots out
God bless Google calender! It’s a free tool at our fingertips than can really create momentum in your business and organise your life.
Once you have decided what you need to do vs what not, what you can delegate and how you are going about things put them in your calender. I would suggest doing that even for the smallest things like calls that would take 15 minutes. Put down the time you need around events like a commute or meeting preparation time. You can colour code each activity so when you look back at your week and reflect on things gone good or bad you know where you spent the most time and tweak it if it wasn’t in your favour, find the things with good return of investment and add more time slots for them in the furture.
One thought on “5 simple yet effective time management hacks for small business owners”
Greetings! Very helpful advice in this particular article!
It is the little changes which will make the biggest changes.
Many thanks for sharing!