As a small business operator, you are likely the keeper of many tasks and responsibilities. Sometimes, there isn’t enough time in the day to get to everything, and knowing which tasks to prioritize can be challenging. Check out this list of time management resources to help you find a tool or process that will keep you on track and maybe create additional time for play.
- Determine how you spend your time. Spend a week tracking your tasks with an app like RescueTime or Toggl to figure out how you may be able to cut down or delegate to create more space in your day. According to John Rampton, who writes about time management best practices in the Forbes article “Manipulate Time With These Powerful 20 Time Management Tips,” you may think you’re only spending a portion of your day on one task, but when you perform what he calls a time audit, you may be surprised by the result.
- Allot time to plan tasks. Whether at the start of your day or before you head home, set aside time to prioritize your tasks for the day ahead. It can also be helpful to share the list with your managers and other team members so they know how you spend your time at the store. If your staff knows what you’re working on, they will better understand the contributions you make to the business even if you’re not on the salesfloor all day. It will also make it easier to delegate if something more urgent comes up and you need someone to take over one of your tasks.
- Do the hard stuff first. There are some tasks on your list that are the most difficult, the most tedious or just unexciting. Rampton says tackling those jobs first will not only make the rest of the day go more easily, but you’ll be able to take pride in the fact that you got through a task you may usually put off.
- Learn to say “No.” Whether it’s a personal engagement or a project at the store someone needs help with, it’s OK for you to acknowledge that you don’t have room for it in your schedule. When it comes to taking on additional responsibilities in the store or starting something new, consider offering that task to an associate who is looking for more responsibility.
- Monitor how much time you spend on social media. Earlier this summer, Facebook and Instagram launched an in-app tool to help you track how much time you’re spending on each site. While you may engage with the platforms for business purposes, there are other times that you may find yourself scrolling without a purpose. The tracking tool allows you to set daily time limits and to turn off notifications during a certain time period so you don’t get distracted. If you manage a business Facebook page, consider downloading the business app Facebook Pages so you’re not tempted to check in on personal updates while tending to the company page.