By, Trish Hodgson
Often, making the transition from employee to entrepreneur can be the first time someone has had the opportunity to manage their own time. While being your own boss can be exciting and empowering, it can take some strategy to get your time working for you.
Managing your time effectively can have a huge impact on how well you run your business, and even help you avoid burnout.
These techniques can help you if;
- You find you get distracted easily and often wonder what you got done with your day
- Spend too much time working and can’t switch off at the end of the day
- Have lots of open-ended tasks that could take a long time
- Are not sure where to start!
Here are 5 techniques I use to manage my time:
1. Make a list
I find the habit of keeping a list of the tasks I need to do, can help me organise and run my day more efficiently. 10 minutes a day- five at the start and end of your day can make a huge difference. You can plan what you need to get done at the start of the day, but also by creating a plan for tomorrow, it can help you switch off and leave your work at work.
2. Group tasks together
Once you have everything down on paper (or digitally), look for similar tasks that you could group. Think about skills you might need, where you work or areas of your business. For example, if you need to catch up on your bookkeeping and emails- you could group them together as both will be at your computer.
3. Time your list & prioritise
Look at your tasks and consider how much time they might take. Write down how many minutes each will take next to the task. Tackle higher priority or longer, more complex tasks at the beginning of the day when you’re fresh. If you have a spare ten minutes- look for a ten-minute action and mark another thing off your list.
4. Schedule blocks of time into your day
If I’m having trouble ‘getting in the zone’, I use the Pomodoro technique, developed by Francesco Cirillo. This technique takes your day and breaks it down into 25-minute sessions with 5 minutes break in between- an achievable amount of time to spend on something that doesn’t feel too large before you get a break. Schedule your day into 25-minute blocks and apply your tasks to those blocks, set a timer and get working. I find once I get moving time flies and those breaks come around very quickly!
5. Remember, done is better than perfect
Perfectionism and procrastination often go hand in hand, meaning we don’t want to start a task until we know we can get it done to a perfect standard. Fortunately, perfect doesn’t exist, so a motto I use is “done is better than perfect”. Getting things done, knowing they won’t be perfect, means I can move on with a task. While it isn’t perfect, it is still done to a good standard and keeps things moving in my business.
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